Setting Basic Assessment Rates Policy 23-600 | Effective Date: January 31, 2013


Through the rate setting exercise, WorkSafeNB will ensure that assessment premiums will be sufficient to cover the estimated total revenue requirement for the assessment year.

The objectives are as follow:

  • Collective liability for a balanced system that offers both responsiveness and stability;
  • Full funding for security of benefits; and 
  • Accounting for performance


  1. The rate setting process begins by establishing the projected total revenue requirement for the upcoming year, to cover the following:
    • Full costs of new accidents including all projected future costs for these accidents;
    • Direct and indirect administrative costs; 
    • Contributions to special funds and reserves;
    • Costs of any other WorkSafeNB approved activities and
    • Adjustments required to reach WorkSafeNB’s funded ratio goal as outlined in Policy 37-100 long-Term Fiscal Strategy.
  1. The second stage of the rate setting process is to allocate the projected total revenue requirement to rate groups, as per Policy 23-300 Employer Classification, on a basis which reflects historical accident cost experiences.
  1. WorkSafeNB uses the following information when determining cost experience:
    • A five year exposure period;
    • New injury costs up to the maximum per claim cost level for new accidents that occur during the five-year period and 
    • Maximum per claim costs for fatalities that occur during the five-year period, regardless of actual costs. 
  1. When determining historical accident cost experience, claims accepted for COVID-19 will not be included from the accident years 2020, 2021, and 2022.
  1. The maximum per claim costs for rate setting is two times the maximum yearly assessable earnings, rounded to the nearest $5,000. For more information on the maximum assessable earning, please see Policy 37-110 New Brunswick Industrial Aggregate Earnings.
  1. Where an industry is reclassified to a different industry group or rate group:
      • The maximum increase in any year will be the greater of 20% in addition to the annual percentage change in the provincial average assessment rate or $0.20 per $100 of assessable payroll;
      • The maximum decrease in any year will be 20% in addition to the percentage change in the provisional average assessment rate. 

From time-to-time WorkSafeNB adopts new NAICS codes, which could result in an employer being reclassified to a different industry. In this instance, the above transition limits may apply. In all other instances, transition limits are not applicable when an employer is reclassified to a different industry.

  1. A minimum assessment rate is established, which is the lowest basic rate that may be applied to the lowest risk rate group. WorkSafeNB calculates this rate each year based on minimum administration costs, plus a fair share of overall cost of claims.
  2. When an employer's calculated assessment premium is below $100, the employer must pay the $100 minimum premium. 




Accident - includes a wilful and intentional act, not being the act of a worker, and also includes a chance event occasioned by a physical or natural cause, as well as a disablement caused by an occupational disease and any other disablement arising out of and in the course of employment, but does not include the disablement of mental stress or a disablement caused by mental stress, other than as an acute reaction to a traumatic event. (WC Act)

Assessment premium - is equal to the assessment rate multiplied by $100 of assessable payroll.

Exposure period - for the purpose of this policy, it is a period of time containing the data used for setting basic assessment rates. For basic rate setting purposes, this period is equal to the five latest completed calendar years preceding the year of calculation. For example, the rates for 2013 are calculated in 2012 taking into account data from 2007 to 2011.

Fatality - an occurrence of death as a result of an accident that arose out of and in the course of employment.


New injury costs - total direct claim-related costs arising as a result of an accident that arose out of and in the course of employment that occurred within the exposure period. Costs associated with accidents that occurred outside the exposure period are not included.

North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) - a common framework for the production of comparable industry statistics by the statistical agencies of Canada, Mexico, and the United States. As a reference manual, the NAICS provides a classification structure that includes industry definitions and examples to clarify the content of each industry. (Statistics Canada – North American Industry Classification System, 2002)


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