The Yukon Chamber of Commerce (YCC) continues to advocate the importance of safe and healthy workplaces. We believe in the key role that that the Yukon Workers’ Compensation Health and Safety Board (YWCHSB) plays. We also believe that assessment rates have to be affordable and reasonable in order to help Yukon businesses prosper.
In reviewing the 2020 YWCHSB Industry Classification and Assessment Rates, which were announced today, the Yukon Chamber of Commerce notes a rate reduction in the low and high rate groups of the resource and transportation, and construction classifications remaining the same at medium and being reduced at the high rate group. This latter is particularly encouraging, given the increased levels of construction activity across the territory. There was also a rate reduction in the high rate group of the service classification. In the four rate groups that did see increases (Resource and Transportation medium, Services low and medium, and Government, increases ranged from 3.1% or $0.14 per $100 of payroll (for Resources and Transportation Medium), to 7.1% or $0.11 per $100 of payroll (for Services Medium).
Of the 4,000 or so employers in the system, about half will have higher rates in 2020, and half will see their assessment rates go down, or remain the same.
Most importantly, there were four deaths at work in 2018. This is up from one in 2017. It is a tragedy anytime someone dies at work.
The lost-time injury rate per 100 covered workers dropped to 1.8 in 2018, down from 2.1 the preceding year
The number of lost-time claims dropped 15% from 488 in 2017 to 417 in 2018.
YWCHSB’s decision, which was prompted by efforts on the part of the Yukon Chamber (YCC), to issue $10 million in rebates to employers in each of 2015, 2016 and 2017, plus another $5 million in 2018, resulted in a decrease in the surplus in the YWCHSB compensation fund.
“The YCC believes returning surplus funds to employers is necessary to align the interests of employers and the YWCHSB in running a self-funded organisation where today’s employers are paying for their own liabilities,“ stated YCC Treasurer Philip Fitzgerald. “That the YWCHSB is doing this in an orderly and transparent manner provides certainty for employers while maintaining the YWCHSB reserves at sustainable levels.”
YCC President Peter Turner said, “As the surplus continues to be reduced, the new rates move the system closer to paying the full costs of workplace injuries. In 2020, this subsidy will equate to $3 million, nearly 10% of the $30 million assessed to employers. They remind us all of the importance of safe and healthy workplaces. Yukon workers and employers need to continue to work together to focus on maintaining a safe work environment. When they do, assessment rates go down. Decreased costs to employers enable businesses to invest resources in ways that grow the economy, create wealth and increase employment.”
Turner added, “We congratulated workers and employers on working towards a safer work environment. We are encouraged by several lower rates, particularly in the active and growing categories of Resources and Transportation High and Construction High. These are generally higher risk classifications, so reductions reflect progress in workplace safety, and improved return-to-work outcomes.”
The Chamber encourages all employers, managers, supervisors and workers to work together to ensure everyone is safe at work.
The 2020 assessment rates by industry can be found on the YWCHSB website at wcb.yk.ca/rates
Yukon Chamber of Commerce Background
Incorporated in 1985, the Yukon Chamber of Commerce is the collective voice of Yukon's business community, working to create a climate conducive to a strong private-sector economy by providing leadership and representation on issues and projects affecting business. The Chamber works with over 750 Yukon businesses, through either direct or Community Chamber membership, as well as the five Community Chambers of Dawson City, Silver Trail, St. Elias, Watson Lake and Whitehorse.