Insights

10 Things to Check on Your 2020 WCB Premium Rate Statement

Posted in: Claims Costs,WCB Law,WCB Premium Reduction | Posted by Rebecca Ingram on December 10, 2019

In case you missed it, your 2020 WCB Premium Rate Statements have been issued. This statement not only advises you of the WCB Premium rate you have been assessed for the coming year but also provides you with the information used to calculate your rate. According to current information, WCB 2020 premium rates in British Columbia, Manitoba and Saskatchewan will remain the same or drop from the 2019 levels, while Alberta will see a slight increase. The rate-setting process is complex and even the smallest change in the data used can have a significant impact on the amount of premiums you pay. Therefore, it is important to consider the following questions while reviewing your statement: Is your Company name/address correct? Have your operations or business changed? Are you classified in the most appropriate Industry? Has your Industry Code changed? Are you being assessed a surcharge? For Alberta employers, are you […]

WCB Policy Reviews – Why Alberta Employers Need to Get Involved

Posted in: WCB Law | Posted by Rebecca Ingram on May 28, 2019

The Alberta Workers’ Compensation Act has been around for more than 100 years and although it is the Act that defines the auspices of the Workers’ Compensation Board (WCB), it is the policies and procedures that have been developed over the years that are integral to the implementation of the Act. Needless to say, times have changed since 1918 and as a result, it has been necessary to modify WCB policies to make them current and relevant in today’s world. To that end, the WCB periodically reviews their policies to ensure they are meeting the needs of today’s workers and employers. Due to a large number of WCB policies, the review process is cyclical where only a select number of policies are reviewed each year. What is being reviewed? In 2019, the Alberta WCB will be looking at policies involving employer accounts and premiums including topics in the following areas: […]

Canada has Legalized Cannabis with Bill C45—Here’s What it Means for Employers.

Posted in: WCB Law | Posted by Rebecca Ingram on October 17, 2018

In a historic vote on June 19th, 2018, the Canadian Parliament changed Canadian law to lift the 95-year-old prohibition on recreational cannabis. Whether you agree with the legalization of marijuana or not, the reality cannot be ignored, nor can the influence this may have on the workplace. What Governments Are Doing: The Cannabis Act requires all Canadian provinces and territories to develop their own regulatory system to support the pending legislation. Earlier this year the Alberta Cannabis Framework was unveiled by the provincial government, setting the stage for the legal and responsible use of marijuana by Albertans. The draft addressed issues such as the minimum age limit, buying, selling, growing, possessing, consuming and advertising of cannabis, as well as driving impairment and workplace impairment, which continues to be a work in progress. In Alberta, the government says it will review occupational health and safety regulations before July 2018; engaging with […]

Maximum Insurable Earnings, Cost Relief and the New WCB Alberta Legislation

Posted in: WCB Law,Worker's Compensation Board | Posted by Rebecca Ingram on October 16, 2018

Another change to the Alberta Workers’ Compensation Act involved maximum insurable earnings (MIE). Up until September 1, 2018, MIE was a figure, set by the Worker’s Compensation Board (WCB) which served two purposes; 1) It was used to establish a weekly compensation rate maximum; based on a capped pre-accident gross insurable earnings sum.  In turn, workers would only be compensated for earnings up to the capped pre-accident gross earnings amount, 2) It was also used as the reportable gross earnings per worker figure or the maximum assessable earnings (MAE) employers were required to report to the WCB for rate setting purposes. As of September 1, 2018, the MIE has been broken down into two distinct categories: Compensable Earnings and Assessable Earnings. Compensable earnings will be the amount used to calculate an injured workers wage loss benefits and will have no limit. As a result of the legislative changes, the cap […]

Obligation to Reinstate – Duty to Accommodate

Posted in: WCB Law | Posted by Rebecca Ingram on September 17, 2018

Following the 2016 review of the Alberta Workers’ Compensation system, the resulting legislative and policy changes to the WCB Alberta went into effect during 2018, with the final changes being implemented on September 1st, 2018. Even though much of the new legislation will be implemented without much consequence, there are aspects that may have a substantial impact on employers— not only financially but operationally. In previous posts, the changes to health benefits and the proposed policy to changes to employers’ obligations to reinstate and duty to accommodate were explored.  Now that the policy changes have been implemented, here is how they may affect Alberta employers: Modified Duties: No Longer an Option, Now an Obligation Although not part of WCB’s jurisdiction, a fundamental component of the Return to Work services provided by the WCB has been to have employers and injured workers work together to facilitate a return to meaningful employment […]

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