Ontario Protecting Workers and Employers during COVID-19Published on December 11, 2020
TORONTO - The Ontario government introduced the Workplace Safety and Insurance Amendment Act, 2020 that would, if passed, protect employers from an unexpected increase in Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) premiums, while maintaining an increase to the maximum earnings cap for worker benefits.
The loss of jobs among lower wage workers, including those in the retail, hospitality and the service sector, during the COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in an increase in the average industrial wage (AIG) of Ontario workers by 7.8 per cent, compared to an average increase of 2-3 per cent. The proposed amendment would limit the impact the increase the AIG has on WSIB premiums to 2 per cent, making sure struggling business owners aren't subject to sudden undue costs during these challenging times.
Additionally, this new amendment will not impact the 7.8 per cent increase in the earning cap for workers, ensuring they will continue to be fairly compensated for work-related injuries and occupational diseases during the COVID-19 pandemic.
"Our government is protecting jobs during the COVID-19 pandemic by giving employers the support they need to get through this difficult time," said Monte McNaughton, Minister of Labour, Training and Skills Development. "Our proposed amendments will help businesses, while making sure that we continue to support workers who are injured on the job."
Read more about the Workplace Safety and Insurance Amendment Act, 2020
- The WSIB has frozen premium rates for Ontario employers for another year at the same levels paid in 2020.
- The Workplace Safety and Insurance Board is Ontario’s workplace insurance provider and covers over five million people in more than 300,000 workplaces across Ontario.
- The WSIB eliminated its unfunded liability charge in January 2020, leading to a $607 million reduction in costs to businesses.