WorkSafeNB is pleased to announce it has reduced the average assessment rate for 2023 to $1.31, down 22% from the 2022 rate of $1.69.
At the same time as assessment rates are decreasing, WorkSafeNB’s board of directors is pursuing legislative changes that would improve the benefits provided to injured workers and their families.
“This is good news for both the employers and injured workers of New Brunswick,” said Tim Petersen, WorkSafeNB’s president and chief executive officer. “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.”
Strong investment returns through 2021, the lowest injury frequency rate in 13 years, improved return to work outcomes for injured workers, and important legislative change in 2018 have strengthened WorkSafeNB’s funded position, a significant factor in the rate reduction.
“The important legislative changes made when we assumed office were intended, in part, to bring down WorkSafe assessment rates,” said Minister of Post-Secondary Education, Training and Labour, Trevor Holder. “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.”
“The decrease in our rate tells us that both employers and workers are engaged in injury prevention and return to work efforts, and we are grateful for their commitment as we strive to make New Brunswick the safest place to work”, said Petersen.
The sustainability of the workers’ compensation system is based on striking and maintaining a fine balance between the needs of both workers and employers. Reducing the average assessment rate while improving benefits further realizes this goal – the best possible benefits for injured workers and their families, while maintaining fair and affordable rates for employers.
While the average rate is $1.31, employer’s individual rates will vary based on their industry and performance from a workplace injury perspective. Fewer claims, lower costs, and safer workplaces equal lower rates for most employers. New Brunswick employers will be able to view their individual assessment rates in MyServices by early November.
WorkSafeNB 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% to $360 for each of the more than 4,000 firefighters in the province, compared to the $425 annual assessment rate charged in 2022.