Yukon Workers' Compensation Health and Safety Board

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For Release

June 9, 2016

YWCHSB nudges rates towards actual cost of caring for injured Yukoners

WHITEHORSE: The Board of Directors of YWCHSB will increase the average assessment rate by two cents in 2017.

The average rate will rise to $1.87 from $1.85 in 2016. This is the first such increase in seven years.

While no employer pays the average assessment rate, it signals whether industry rates will rise or fall in the coming year. The specific industry rates paid by employers are set after deep analysis of injury rates and costs by an actuary.

Last year, the Board of Directors decided to reduce the size of the Compensation Fund. The board approved $10.2 million to pay cash rebates to Yukon employers.

The Compensation Fund pays the costs associated with every Yukoner injured on the job. The fund target is between 121 and 129 per cent of all injury costs, which provides a cushion in the event of unexpected calamity or market collapse. The fund currently sits above 150 per cent.

“If we were to close our doors today, we have enough money to care for every injured worker in our system for the entirety of their life and we'd have money left over,” said Mark Pike, the board’s chair. “That’s where we want to be. However, we currently have too much surplus. This subsidizes the rates employers pay, shielding them from the true cost of the compensation system.

“Now, as we draw down the fund to its target range, employers will gradually shoulder the true cost of caring for injured workers. Reducing the subsidy will nudge the average rate up over time.

“That process is what you are seeing today.”

The Board of Directors is confident society’s focus on preventing disabilities for Yukon workers will help curb costs and protect the viability of the compensation system into the future.

The YWCHSB will now examine each industry rate group to determine specific actual assessment rates for 2017. Those rates will be released in the fall.

Contact

Andrew Robulack
Public Affairs Liaison
Phone: (867) 335-6040