Mr. Bidal provided some insights into the proposed Rate Framework changes at the WSIB, which are expected to come into effect in 2019 and will significantly change the way employer premiums are set and will eliminate the current process of giving surcharges and refunds.
A more detailed look at the proposed changes can be found here.
Here are a few of the highlights of the Rate Framework changes:
- The new system will eliminate the current NEER, CAD-7, and MAPP experience ratings programs and replace them with one unified system.
- It will reduce the number of different rate groups (industry groups) from the current 200+ to about 34 and each employer will be placed into one group, based on its predominant business activity.
- No more "predicting" expected claim costs for a given year and then allocating a refund or additional surcharge if your actual results are different than what was expected.
- Now the WSIB will assign a range of premiums for the entire group, with your company falling into one of 40-80 distinct "risk bands" within that range, depending on your company's performance. Increases or decreases in claim costs will result in an increase or decrease in next year's premium (as you move up or down that "risk band" continuum).
- Expansion of the review window from 4 years to 6 years (with higher weight given to more recent results)
If the NEER system is being replaced, why should employers care about it?
Excellent question. In fact, understanding and improving your NEER experience is more important than ever.
As the WSIB transitions to the new system it will need to determine where to place your company along the "Risk Band" range for the premiums in your new rate group. Mr. Bidal shared with our group that a significant factor in that decision will be made by looking at your historical experience and claim costs.
Here are some ways to improve your company's NEER experience now and increase your chances for lower premiums in the new system:
- Reduce the frequency of workplace accidents by actively encouraging an environment of safety
- Provide modified duties immediately to any injured workers, thereby reducing the number of lost-time claims (make sure that your employee's doctor knows you have modified work options available that you will customize for their individual abilities and limitations)
- Gain enterprise-wide support for return-to-work options
- Object to any WSIB claims that you feel are not legitimate or may be non-occupational in nature (i.e. injured themselves outside of the workplace)
- Request SIEF cost relief when you suspect a pre-exisiting condition contributed to the injury (or is delaying recovery)
How can you learn more about NEER and claims management best practices?
Clear Path offers an one-day workshop that gives an Introduction to the NEER Program and WSIB Claims Management.
It is jam-packed with useful information and dives into 10 real-world scenarios to help demonstrate how everyday decisions can signficantly impact your NEER claim costs. New for Fall 2016, it also delves into the proposed Rate Framework changes so you'll have a better understanding of what's coming in the future.
Sessions are held in Cambridge and Mississauga in September 2016. Register now to take advantage of early bird savings! Click here to learn more or to register.