The Yukon Workers Compensation Health and Safety Board says its average assessment rates are currently subsidized due to its over-funded position. (Joel Krahn/Yukon News)

Yukon health and safety board increases assessment rates

Employers gradully paying more of full cost of workers’ comp rates

Sharon Nadeem

News Reporter

The Yukon Workers Compensation Health and Safety board announced an increase in average assessment rates of three per cent next year.

The increase will take the average assessment rate to $1.93 from the current rate of $1.87 per $100 of payroll, an increase of 6 cents. The actual cost of the compensation system is $2.30, but Yukon employers receive a rate subsidy.

“The rate subsidy is an effect of our over-funded position,” said board chair Mark Pike. “As we reduce that position, our funding policy requires that we increase the rates employers pay by reducing the subsidy.”

This is part of a multi-year plan to reduce the board’s overfunded position and ensure the actual cost of the compensation system is reflected in the rates paid by employers.

Kurt Dieckmann, the board’s chief executive officer, said that plan is expected to take roughly four years depending on market factors. When employers start paying the full cost of the compensation system, they will recognize the benefits of reducing job-related injuries and illnesses, he said.

Pike recognizes that the increase will have to be done gradually to not “shock the employers.”

“Our decision to increase the average assessment rate delivers on our steady promise to manage the worker’s compensation system responsibly and equitably,” he said.

As part of its efforts, the board has given around $40 million to Yukon employers in the form of rate subsidies and rebates, he said.

The board has not yet released industry-specific rates. Those are expected later this year. Industry-specific rates are heavily influenced by “injury cost experience,” meaning the number of injuries and high-cost injuries that occur in each sector. For example, child care and communication services paid an assement rate of $0.66 in 2017, while diamond drilling and long-haul trucking paid $7.94 in the same year.

Road building and construction have shown the most improvement in terms of safety at the worksite, Dieckmann said.

“It’s an area where we’ve they’ve seen the best results because they’ve adopted safety management systems,” he said.

Contact Sharon Nadeem at sharon.nadeem@yukon-news.com

Just Posted

A look inside Whitehorse’s operations building

A phased-in move is expected to begin in October

The wonderful world of worm compost

Worms kept in a bin under your sink can let you compost organic scraps year-round

Former board member worries Many Rivers could drown in debt

Skeeter Wright says the new board won’t be able to pay debts left by its predecessor

Record medal haul for Team Yukon at Western Canada Summer Games

Nine medals — three silver and six bronze — put the Yukon fourth in the medal standings

WYATT’S WORLD

Wyatt’s World

Sunny skies for 2019 Rick Janowicz Long Lake Triathlon

“It was sunny and breezy — perfect temperatures — and I think people enjoyed it”

Driving with Jens: What do milk and your child’s car seat have in common?

Things have changed since kids used to sprawl across the back window of the car

YCCMA Mosquito Harescramble includes record numbers for return of ladies class

“I think it’s a good indication it’s turning to a family sport versus what it has been in the past”

Yukonomist: Fun facts for your next violent barbecue debate about government jobs

Have you ever been at a barbecue where someone starts talking loudly… Continue reading

Yukon disc golfers compete in Trilogy Challenge

“We definitely are seeing a lot of new people starting into the sport”

History Hunter: New book celebrates Yukon’s most colourful hotel

If the walls could talk, what tales they would tell. But the… Continue reading

River Trail Marathon tests runners with heat and sun

“It was very hot in the second half, but the volunteers are amazing and there is water often”

Most Read