Understanding WCB Employer Surplus Rebates

Posted in: Claims Costs,WCB Premium Reduction | Posted by Rebecca Ingram on June 30, 2015

On June 12th, 2015, the Workers’ Compensation Board (WCB) of Saskatchewan announced that they would be refunding $114 million to employers, this follows a May 11, 2015 press release by the Alberta WCB stating that they would be refunding over $500 million due to a declared surplus in their funding. Essentially, they are issuing a rebate on premiums previously paid, which begs the question – why? Have they been caught with their hands in the proverbial cookie jar, lining their pockets at the expense of hard working businesses? Are they so poorly mismanaged that they were unaware how much money they had? If they are handing money back, why not just lower premiums? Are injured workers suffering because money that could provide benefits is being returned to their employer? There is no short answer and in order to understand the rationale, you first need to understand the WCB, why it […]

The Perils of the Seasonal Worker

Posted in: Safety | Posted by Rebecca Ingram on June 19, 2015

The summer is almost upon us! It’s a time of sunshine, warm weather, vacations, festivals, exhibitions, concerts, Stampede, landscaping, outdoor activities and, of course, construction. It’s also the height of the seasonal workers employment period whether it is extra staff to handle the peak traffic at resorts, camp counsellors, summer students to cover vacations, special event workers or extra hires to complete construction and other projects while the weather permits. With the hire of new employees, whether permanent, temporary or seasonal, safety in the workplace should be an integral part of the onboarding process and ongoing operations. Every season comes with its own unique set of safety issues and concerns that need to be adhered to in order to prevent or minimize workplace injuries and accidents. Greater Risks for New Hires A recent study by the Institution for Work & Health(IWH), based on research over a 10 year period, indicates […]

Historical WCB Claims can be a Source of WCB Cost Savings

Posted in: WCB Premium Reduction | Posted by Rebecca Ingram on June 9, 2015

Ok, so you’ve made sure that your business is classified in the correct industry, at the correct rate and you’ve made sure that an new and current claims are under control and being managed in a timely manner, is there anything else you can do to ensure that your WCB costs are as low as they can be? Perhaps there is, a review of a claim from a historical perspective can identify areas of WCB cost savings, relief or cost removal on older claims and even claims that have been closed. Any reduction in WCB claims costs can have a positive impact on WCB premiums, which in turn can result in lower premiums and even premium refunds for prior years. Confirming that all the costs associated with a claim are directly related to the injury sustained on that claim ensures that an employer is not being overcharged, wrongly charged or […]

How Current WCB Claims Management can control costs

Posted in: Safety,WCB Premium Reduction | Posted by Rebecca Ingram on June 8, 2015

Although your WCB Industry Classification is the foundation on which WCB premiums are established, the most effective way of keeping WCB costs down is to prevent workplace accidents and injuries. To be accident/claim free ensures that you will pay the lowest possible premiums based on your classification, however this is not always an achievable or realistic goal regardless of how many precautions you take. Accidents happen, that’s why they are called accidents but even a reduction in the number of claims, the length of a claim and/or the severity of an injury can have a positive impact on WCB premiums. That is why it is critical to be proactive with an injury or accident and manage a claim closely from the onset. In short, WCB claims management is key to controlling WCB costs. As the Alberta economy takes a hit virtually every employer is affected, cost cutting measures are implemented […]

Do falling oil prices affect WCB premiums?

Posted in: WCB Premium Reduction | Posted by Rebecca Ingram on

Falling and fluctuating oil prices have a far reaching effect not only within the oil industry but for Alberta businesses as a whole. It is not just profitability that takes a hit but the a changing work environment can lead to a greater risk of accident or injury, an increase in WCB claims and ultimately higher WCB premiums. As employers, we look for ways to protect our bottom line by reducing costs wherever and whenever possible, this can include layoffs, reduced work hours, increased responsibilities and restructuring – essentially trying to do more with less. This changing work environment can lead to an increased potential for workplace accidents and injuries, which in turn affects WCB premiums and ultimately increases operating costs. How to manage WCB costs There are several measures that can be taken to reduce, contain or maintain your WCB costs. One of the initial areas to look at […]