The Workers’ Safety and Compensation Commission (WSCC) will raise its average assessment rate to $2.10 in 2019, a five-cent increase.
The rate was $2.05 in 2018 and $2 for the three prior years.
While the actual rate employers pay differs according to their type of industry, the WSCC uses the average rate as its basis for all related calculations.
Anyone employing workers in the Northwest Territories must pay assessments to the WSCC, which uses the money to fund services like providing compensation when workers are hurt – as well as to cover its administration costs.
The average rate means an employer would pay $2.10 to the WSCC for every $100 in assessable payroll paid to its staff.
In reality, however, businesses pay an adjusted rate according to the industry they work in and the WSCC’s view of how costly claims are in that industry.
For example, the rate the territorial government must pay is one of the lowest around, at $1.01 per $100 in payroll. Auto sales businesses pay $2.72, trucking companies pay $4.30, and outdoor recreation and tourism operators pay $6.84.
The WSCC says its average rate has gone up because claims costs are rising, but the commission claims the rate remains comparable to other Canadian jurisdictions.
There is a considerable spread in average rates between the territories and provinces. For example, in Nova Scotia, the average rate is $2.65; in BC, the average rate is $1.55; and in Alberta, the average rate is $1.02.
The WSCC says its average rate would have been susceptible to a larger increase, but for better-than-expected performance of its investments in 2017.