October 2014 WorkSafeBC Board Decisions – Dividends and OH&S Reg Changes

WorkSafeBC’s Board of Directors make policy and regulation decisions that affect the workers and employers of British Columbia. For example, the decisions can affect the assessment rates an employer pays, or the level of benefits a worker receives.  Policy and regulation decisions made by WorkSafeBC’s Board of Directors at their October 2014 meeting include:

Repealing Changes to Assessment Policy on the Treatment of Dividends Paid to Principals

In December 2013, the Board of Directors approved revisions to policy in the Assessment Manual that would exclude dividends paid to principals from assessable payroll, effective January 1, 2015.

As an implication of this change, the Policy, Regulation and Research Division (“PRRD”) released a discussion paper for consultation on the compensation of principals, which considered whether compensation policy should be revised to exclude dividends from average earnings to mirror the upcoming change to assessment policy.

During this consultation, stakeholders raised concerns about both the proposed change to compensation policy and the upcoming change to assessment policy. Stakeholders also indicated support for rescinding the decision to exclude dividends from assessable payroll in January 2015, in order to allow more time to further study and consult on how dividends paid to principals should be treated for assessment and compensation purposes.

At their October 23, 2014 meeting, the Board of Directors rescinded the December 2013 changes to assessment policy and directed that this issue be retained on the PRRD’s Workplan. The PRRD will be seeking further input from stakeholders on this issue in assessment and compensation policy.

You may view the complete resolution here (PDF 90kb).

Board of Directors approves amendments to the Occupational Health and Safety Regulation

At its October 2014 meeting, WorkSafeBC’s Board of Directors approved amendments to the Occupational Health and Safety Regulation.  These amendments will become effective on February 1, 2015.

The above amendments were taken to public hearings in June 2014. Stakeholder feedback received during the public hearing process is available for review.