FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 19, 2017
WorkplaceNL’s injury fund continues to be fully funded
St. John’s, NL – WorkplaceNL’s financial position continues to improve, and it was compliant with all 2016 performance indicators in the areas of client service, facilitating recovery at work, leadership in prevention through collaboration and financial sustainability.
The injury fund was 126.1 per cent funded at the end of 2016, up from 118.8 per cent for 2015. When the funded position exceeds 120 per cent, policy allows for a downward adjustment to the assessment rates paid by employers.
“We remain committed to maintaining a sustainable workplace injury system for workers and employers in our province,” said Elizabeth Forward, Board Member on behalf of the Board of Directors. “As WorkplaceNL’s financial position has been improving in recent years, we have been able to lower rates charged to employers, increase benefits to injured workers and, with our partners, help to reduce the injury rate in the province.”
“I would like to thank our many partners, including labour, employers, safety sector councils, government, and the Board of Directors, management and staff of WorkplaceNL for their ongoing dedication to workers and employers in our province,” she added.
Effective January 1, 2017, the average assessment rate paid by employers was reduced to $2.06 per $100 of assessable payroll. As well, the maximum compensable and assessable earnings (MCAE) increased to $63,420, the highest in Atlantic Canada.
This coincides with lower injury rates in the province. The lost-time incidence rate due to workplace injury or illness remains at an all-time low of 1.5 per 100 workers.
Certain challenges continue to exist. The injury rate has remained relatively stable at an all-time low for the past five years, reflecting a positive attitude towards workplace safety across the province. The ongoing challenge is to bring the injury rate even lower. The rise in workplace violence in the health care and service industries and the slow decline in serious injuries remain a concern. As well, the injury fund is dependent on investment market performance where fluctuations are possible.
The use of online services increased. To date, over 50,000 electronic safety training records have been issued for workers in the province, up from 38,000 at the end of 2016. As well, the percentage of forms submitted by employers continues to grow.
WorkplaceNL believes that workplace injuries and illnesses are preventable, and will continue to work with its partners to increase occupational health and safety awareness.
The benefit liabilities of the injury fund represents the present value of all future payments expected to be made on behalf of injured workers whose claims were accepted as of December 31, 2016, including a provision for future claims related to occupational disease. The funded position is the percentage of assets available to fund total liabilities.
WorkplaceNL’s 2016 Annual Performance Report is now available on workplacenl.ca or call toll-free 1.800.563.9000 to request a printed copy.
Serving approximately 13,000 injured workers and 19,000 employers, WorkplaceNL administers an employer-funded, no-fault insurance system that promotes safe and healthy workplaces, provides return-to-work programs and offers fair compensation to injured workers and their dependents.
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Carla Riggs, Director of Communications
709.778.1590 or firstname.lastname@example.org