WHSCC statutory review announced

NLEC calling for legislative change in the system to reduce Employer Insurance Premiums

The Provincial Government has announced the start of the Workplace Health, Safety & Compensation Commission (WHSCC) statutory review.

A committee representing key stakeholders has been appointed to oversee the statutory review process, including NLEC member Claude Horlick, and labour representative Dave Burry. Ralph Tucker, Chair of the Board of the WHSCC, will also chair this committee.

During the first phase of the statutory review, the committee will undertake an examination of the act to identify areas for improvement and modernization. In the second phase, the Statutory Review Committee will engage in public consultations. The schedule of public consultations will be made available in the coming weeks. The NLEC encourages all member organizations to particpate in the Statutory Review process.

The NLEC will lead a strong lobby for reductions in Worker’s Compensation Employer Insurance Premiums throughout the Statutory Review Process. The premiums employers pay for Worker’s Compensation in Newfoundland & Labrador are 36% higher than the Canadian average. This uncompetitive tax on labour results in downward pressure on wages and employment levels in this province.  It also makes it harder for employers to compete for labour and to win contracts when bidding on projects against their counterparts in other provinces.  The membership of the NL Employers’ Council (NLEC) has repeatedly expressed frustration with these high insurance premiums, and the NLEC is pushing strongly for the Statutory Review of the Workplace Health, Safety & Compensation Commission (WHSCC), announced today, to focus on bringing the cost of the system in line with the Canadian average, and securing its financial sustainability.

Employers in this province have paid the highest Worker’s Compensation employer insurance premiums in the country for nearly two decades. The current system has proven that it is incapable, under its current legislative structure, to provide benefits to workers while not disadvantaging employers. It is clear that fundamental legislative change is needed and in the coming weeks the NLEC will recommend changes that will cut costs to the system, while maintaining benefits to workers.

View some media coverage on this issue:

VOCM-AM “Open Line” 17/1/2012

VOCM-AM “Backtalk” 17/1/2012

Thetelegram.com 17/1/2012

VOCM-AM News (Radio & Online) 18/1/2012

The Telegram 18/1/2012

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