The Yukon Chamber of Commerce (YCC) is pleased with the decision of the Yukon Workers’ Compensation Health and Safety Board (YWCHSB), to release for the fourth year in a row a rebate to virtually all Yukon employers. The rebates will be paid out this month. The total value of this year’s release will be $5 million and the Chamber views the infusion of this money back into the Yukon economy as welcome news. Almost every Yukon employer will receive a portion of the rebate. The guidelines that determine which employers are eligible and how rebates will be calculated can be found on YWCHSB’s website at https://wcb.yk.ca/rebate
Four years ago, the Yukon Chamber of Commerce identified that YWCHSB had accrued a surplus of reserves in excess of its required levels. Subsequent discussions between the Yukon Chamber and YWCHSB have resulted in a multi-year series of rebates issued to employers to bring YWCHSB reserves down to their mandated maximum level of 121% - 129% of total liabilities.
Stanley Noel, Chair of the YCC Board, said, “YCC has worked in partnership with YWCHSB to arrive at a fair and responsible manner in which to return the surplus to employers. YWCHSB applies some surplus funds to subsidize its rates, and this is also reflected in the 2019 rates announced in August of this year. The Chamber recognized that rate subsidies alone would not return the surplus in a timely fashion to employers, and in 2015 engaged with YWCHSB to initiate rebates to employers. With today’s announcement, rebates have totalled $35 million over the last four years.”
While the YWCHSB surplus has accrued as a result of significant stockmarket growth over recent years, this year has not been nearly as strong. Given the turbulence of the markets over YWCHSB’s current fiscal year, their rebate of $5 million vs. $10 million in each of the past three years seems prudent. YCC looks forward to reviewing YWCHSB’s next financial statements to see the new status of any reserve surplus. YCC will make recommendations in 4Q of 2019 if we believe a further rebate is warranted to bring the surplus down towards the legislated 121% - 129% of total liabilities range.
Stanley Noel, Chair of the YCC Board, added, “We are pleased that YWCHSB continues to respond in a reasonable and collaborative fashion to the Yukon Chamber’s recommendations to return the funds on an accelerated basis. These rebates represent the fair and responsible return to employers of excess money not required to keep the system fully funded. For some larger employers, the rebates will be substantial.”
The Yukon Chamber encourages all employers, managers, supervisors and workers to work together to ensure everyone is safe at work.