Ontario’s Minister of Labour, Laurie Scott, announced Wednesday that the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (the “WSIB”) will be dropping employer premiums by 30% starting January 2019. The reductions result from the elimination of the WSIB’s unfunded liability, which reached a high of $14.2 billion in 2011 before being paid down. The WSIB’s unfunded liability represents the difference between the funds needed to pay future benefits for established worker claims and the funds presently available to the WSIB.
The planned reductions are said to be part of the government’s broader plan to cut down on regulatory interference in the economy, create jobs and lower taxes. Paired with the recent announcement that the government will freeze the minimum wage at its current $14.00 per hour, employers will have lower-than-expected workforce costs in 2019.
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