News Release Supporting our workforce: Historic benefit improvements for injured workers

June 3, 2024

By Tim Petersen, President and CEO, WorkSafeNB

In a significant move toward enhancing the well-being of New Brunswick’s workforce, the Government of New Brunswick has passed a new bill to greatly benefit injured workers and their families. These historic improvements to benefits underscore our unwavering commitment to supporting those who have been injured on the job, ensuring they receive the financial assistance they need during recovery.

Starting July 1, 2024, wage loss benefits for all injured workers will increase from 85% to 90% of net earnings. This change provides greater financial security for workers as they heal from workplace injuries or illnesses, allowing them to focus on their recovery without the added stress of financial instability. This adjustment not only brings peace of mind but also aligns New Brunswick with most other Canadian jurisdictions, ensuring that our support systems are robust and comprehensive.

Changes are also coming to how the Maximum Annual Earnings (MAE) are calculated, which is good news for workers. The MAE is the highest amount of earnings on which employers pay premiums and is also used to calculate workers' compensation benefits. The multiplier used to calculate the MAE will increase from 1.5 to 1.6 times the average earnings in New Brunswick. This means more workers will have their full wages covered if they are hurt on the job and need workers' compensation benefits. As a result, the MAE will go up from $76,900 to $82,100, providing better coverage for more people.

These two improvements are critical for those who find themselves unable to work due to injury. It is our responsibility to ensure workers are not suffering undue financial hardship during their recovery period. By increasing the percentage loss of earnings and raising the MAE, we are taking substantial steps to provide more comprehensive support for injured workers. These changes were informed through consultation with workers and employers, whose insights were invaluable. Our inclusive approach ensured that the voices of those directly impacted by these changes were heard and considered.

Injured workers who are currently receiving benefits will receive the increase automatically, without needing to take any action. This seamless transition reflects our commitment to making sure our processes are as smooth and supportive as possible for those we serve.

These enhancements for New Brunswick workers follow on the heels of five years of assessment rate reductions, the most recent being a decrease to $1.18 per $100 of assessable payroll in 2024. New Brunswick employers currently benefit from having the second lowest assessment rate in the country. The combination of assessment rate reductions and benefit improvements demonstrates a balanced approach that benefits both employers and injured workers and reflects our commitment to a healthy and sustainable workers' compensation system.

These improvements mark a significant milestone in our ongoing journey to support the workforce of New Brunswick, ensuring injured workers receive the care and financial stability they deserve, while employers are provided stable and competitive assessment rates. Our goal is to create an environment where both workers and employers feel supported. As we implement these historic benefit improvements, we remain committed to our vision: making New Brunswick the safest place to work.


About WorkSafeNB:

WorkSafeNB is a Crown corporation charged with overseeing the implementation and application of New Brunswick’s Occupational Health and Safety Act; Workers' Compensation Act; Workplace Health, Safety and Compensation Commission and Workers' Compensation Appeals Tribunal Act; and the Firefighters' Compensation Act. We are dedicated to promoting safe and healthy workplaces and providing support to workers and employers across the province. Our vison is to make New Brunswick the safest place to work.

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