Earlier this year, the Workplace Health, Safety and Compensation Statutory Review Committee (SRC) concluded its review of the provincial workers’ compensation system.
View the SRC report:
Working Together: Safe, Accountable, Sustainable (Vol I, Parts 1 & 2)
Working Together: Safe, Accountable, Sustainable (Vol II, Appendices)
The NLEC Board of Director’s recently approved a detailed response to the SRC Report:
The NLECs bottom line position is that the workers’ compensation system requires fundamental legislative structural changes to reduce the cost of the worker’s compensation system in NL and make the attainment of competitive insurance premiums a possibility.
The SRC recognized and recommended that the cost of the system and ensuring financial accountability and sustainability should be a priority for the WHSCC. In December 2013, following our lobby for reduced Worker’s Compensation Employer Insurance Premiums throughout the statutory review, government chose to implement the first reduction in employer WHSCC premiums since 2006. The SRC report included a recommendation for a similar rate reduction in an incremental fashion over a three year period. Government made this announcement prior to the release of this report, and chose to implement the reduction all at once – clearly a reaction to the NLECs lobby efforts.
This premium reduction put an estimated $18 million back in the hands of employers this year, and annually – money that will be used to reinvest in businesses, grow employment and grow wages. However, despite this reduction, rates in NL remain the second highest in the county. There are still inefficiencies, inequities and loopholes within the system that must be addressed to ensure this rate reduction is sustainable, and to allow for further reductions.
Nearly every area of concern raised by the NLEC throughout the Statutory Review is addressed in some way in the report. Many of the recommendations are positive first steps, but do not go far enough to facilitate the large-scale top down cultural shift that must occur. There are also some recommendations of concern to the NLEC. View the NLEC Response for detailed information.
The NLEC has presented this response to the Labour Relations Agency and will continue to lobby government for legislation that provides the Commission with the tools to tighten up the workers’ compensation system in our province, particularly with regard to creating sustainable and competitive workers’ compensation employer insurance premiums, and reducing claim duration.