The Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) of Ontario is changing the process of how premium rates are being calculated across the province.
According to WSIB chief financial officer Pamela Steer, the board has not changed its rate setting scheme for over 20 years. But by leveraging technology – big data and analytics, in particular – premium rates can now be set more transparently and accurately.
Steer said that the system is being changed so the rate an employer pays does not come back to surprise them a year and a half into the group plan.
“So in the new scheme, we have 34 rate classes instead of 155 rate groups, but then within each class has employers based on their size, which tells us what we call predictability,” Steer explained. “But their size, their number of employees and their own risk will dictate how far from the median of that class’s average rate they will go.”
For example, Steer said a large employer which takes health and safety seriously, as well as experiencing very few worker accidents, will pay a much lower rate in its class than the average under the new system.
She also noted that smaller companies will be protected thanks to the collective liability concept of WSIB’s employer insurance.
The changes will affect nearly 300,000 registered businesses operating in Ontario; they will come into effect in September, Benefits Canada reported.
WSIB will also be providing employers with a projected rate.
“We’re going to provide them the rates they would eventually pay based on their current risk and experience to make it easier for all employers to get into this new system because we realize it’s a really big change,” said Steer.