OGCA Welcomes Lower WSIB Premiums
The WSIB has announced that they have retired the unfunded liability, and are lowering the average premium rate by 30%, and the general contracting rate #723 will be reduced by 38% to $2.53, effective January 1, 2019.
Over the last 10 years, the industry has paid $15.2 billion to retire the unfunded liability, on the understanding that when full funding is achieved, premiums would be reset to reflect costs.
As a result, the average premium will be reduced by 30% and construction rates will receive larger reductions. The general contractor’s Rate 723 ICI Construction will be $2.53, a 38% reduction. With the reduction of 12% this year, we will enjoy a 44% or $2.01 reduction in total.
OGCA congratulates the WSIB on the retirement of the debt and its action to reduce the payroll burden for Ontario employers. OGCA, with the Construction Employers Coalition (CEC), has worked with the WSIB for ten years to eliminate the unfunded liability and achieve this reduction. This summer, we made a submission to the WSIB focusing on the need to move quickly to reduce assessments, and proposing the schedule of reductions.
Some unions and injured worker representatives have accused the WSIB of achieving this on the backs of injured workers. It’s simply not true. Ontario injured workers are protected by a generous system that has recently expanded entitlement to cover chronic mental stress, and benefits have recently become fully indexed to the cost of living.
Ontario has the second highest WSIB premiums and the lowest accident rate in the country. These changes make Ontario competitive with the rest of the country.
Payroll taxes, including WSIB premiums, are a direct cost on employment and restrict an employer’s ability to hire and pay competitive wages. This will result in a 2% reduction in payroll costs which will grow the economy and promote new employment.