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The WorkSafeNB office in Saint John. Image: © 2022 Google

WorkSafeNB Reduces Average Assessment Rate By 22%

By Tim Herd Oct 14, 2022 | 12:59 PM

Many New Brunswick employers are about to see a substantial drop in their workplace assessment rates.

On Friday, WorkSafeNB announced the average assessment rate for 2023 will be $1.31 per $100 of assessed payroll.

That is a drop of 22 per cent compared to the current rate, which is set at $1.69.

“This is good news for both the employers and injured workers of New Brunswick,” Tim Petersen, WorkSafe NB’s president and chief executive officer, said in a news release.

“For employers, there is a net reduction in costs as they continue to recover from financial challenges brought on by the pandemic and rising interest and inflation rates. For workers and their families, benefit improvements would allow them to better focus on their recovery during a challenging time.”

Petersen hinted at the assessment rate drop during a speech at a Saint John Region Chamber of Commerce luncheon in September.

Assessment rates went from $1.70 in 2018 to $2.65 in 2019. They then dropped to $2.40 in 2020, $2.17 in 2021, and $1.69 in 2022.

WorkSafeNB said the latest reduction comes amid strong strong investment returns through 2021, the lowest frequency rate in 13 years, and improved return-to-work outcomes for injured workers.

Another significant factor in the lower rate is legislative changes in 2018 which WorkSafeNB said strengthened its funded position.

“The important legislative changes made when we assumed office was intended, in part, to bring down WorkSafe assessment rates,” reads a statement from Post-Secondary Education, Training and Labour, Minister Trevor Holder said in the release.

“I’m thrilled to see yet another reduction in the assessment rates and that is due to the excellent work of WorkSafeNB’s board of directors. Our government remains committed to working with the board to ensure an equitable compensation system for both workers and employers.”

In addition to announcing the new rate, the organization’s board of directors said it is pursuing legislative changes that would improve the benefits provided to injured workers and their families.

Employers’ rates will vary based on their industry and performance from a workplace injury perspective. They will be able to view their assessment rates in MyServices by early November.

“Fewer claims, lower costs, and safer workplaces equal lower rates for most employers,” said WorkSafeNB in the release.

The organization also announced a reduction in the rate charged to fund the Firefighters’ Compensation Act’s disability fund. Annual assessment rates for 2023 will decrease by 15 per cent to $360 for each of the more than 4,000 firefighters in the province, compared to the $425 annual assessment rate charged in 2022.


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