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WSIB: An update on 2020 rates, health and safety excellence program and rate framework review
September 30th, 2019 1:34 pm     A+ | a-
  
Andrew Pariser and Cassandra Dobrzynski / RESCON

As 2020 approaches, so do three major initiatives within the WSIB. RESCON has had a busy year consulting with the WSIB on behalf of builders in 2019 and is expecting more of the same next year.

We have three goals for this article. First, we'll preview 2020 rates. Second, we'll provide an update on the new Health and Safety Excellence Program which is scheduled to launch in November. Third, we'll discuss the next steps in WSIB’s rate framework review, including a newly planned WSIB seminar which will be held in Maple, Ont., in early 2020.


WSIB PREMIUM RATES FOR 2020

The unfunded liability was eliminated last year, and WSIB has continued its financial success by building up an over $3-billion sufficiency fund which equates to a funding ratio of approximately 110%. We commend the WSIB for this diligence as well the removal of the past claims cost (PCC) in 2020. As a result of this financial stability, the average rate for 2020 will be reduced by 17 per cent and the rate paid by RESCON members (G1 classification – Building Construction) will be set at $2.30. This is the third straight year that the WSIB has reduced rates. This lines up with the long-term advocacy position that the rates employers pay should reflect the on-site or in-office risk associated with the work.  


 
HEALTH AND SAFETY EXCELLENCE

The WSIB has also announced the winding down of safety groups which will be replaced by the health and safety excellence program. This program will be connected to future MOL announcements around accreditation but will be designed to assist builders in creating and migrating to a health and safety systems approach based on identifying hazards and continuous improvement. This program is expected to launch in the fall and will create financial incentives for participating employers. This topic will also be covered at the upcoming RESCON – WSIB symposium in January. For more information, RESCON hosted two WSIB speakers in the fall on this topic and materials can be obtained by contacting Cassandra Dobrzynski at Dobrzynski@rescon.com.


RATE FRAMEWORK REVIEW

Consultations have ended and the launch date of Jan. 1, 2020 has been set. Letters and information have been sent to all builders on their new rates and information has been provided on how individuals will be transitioned.

At the association level, we still have numerous questions on how this new system will impact members especially those who are:

- currently multi-rated;
- and have a large or majority of workers employed off-site in non-construction related activities.

A stated goal of rate framework review is administrative simplicity. While this is an excellent goal, we need to ensure that risk associated with the work is reflected in the rate. Specifically, less employers will be multi-rated under the new system and we need to fully understand how this will affect individual members.

The good news is that the WSIB has committed to educating employers on how the new system will work, including the following resources:

- main website
- educational seminars
- policies
- frequently asked questions

In addition, we have reached out to WSIB and will be requesting an information session on implementation. We will also host a WSIB-related symposium in early 2020.

It would be helpful if members could forward the information they receive from WSIB to either Andrew Pariser at pariser@rescon.com or Cassandra Dobrzynski at dobrzynski@rescon.com.

As always, we will provide more information as it becomes available on all the issues outlined in this blog.

Work Safe!

Andrew Pariser is the vice-president of RESCON and chair of the RESCON health and safety committee. Reach him @RESCON_VP or at pariser@rescon.com, or call 905-760-7777. Cassandra Dobrzynski is RESCON's associate of member and corporate services. Reach her at dobrzynski@rescon.com or 905-760-7777.
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