Ontario's Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) is ending its unfunded liability charge, leading to a $607-million reduction in costs to business, according to Minister of Labour Monte McNaughton.
"This is good news for employers and employees across the province," he says. "By eliminating the unfunded liability, the WSIB has ensured over 222,000 businesses across the province will see premiums reduced."
The WSIB will officially eliminate its unfunded liability charge beginning in January 2020.
McNaughton made the announcement at a job site operated by Eastern Construction, an Ontario-based company that has pledged to give WSIB premium reductions back to employees. Eastern's 130 employees each received a cheque worth on average $600 from their employer last year.
"A good safety record saves lives and money," said Bryan Arnold, president and CEO of the construction firm. "We want to do everything we can to encourage our employees to keep our sites safe. This was a common-sense move for us."
The Ontario WSIB provides benefits to injured workers. Over 300,000 employers in Ontario are registered with the board to receive coverage for some five million employees.
In 2018, the Ontario government announced the elimination of the unfunded liability, along with an almost 30 per cent decrease in premiums starting in January 2019.
In January 2020, the unfunded liability charge, or past claims cost, will be eliminated from WSIB rates, resulting in about $607 million in savings to employers. Of this, about $130 million is related to reduced new claims cost and lower administration costs.
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