WorkSafeBC announces preliminary average premium rates for 2021

Published on: September 23, 2020 

Richmond, B.C. — WorkSafeBC announced today that the preliminary average base rate for 2021 will remain unchanged at 1.55 percent of employers’ assessable payroll. This will be the fourth year in a row that the average base rate has remained at this level, consistent with WorkSafeBC’s goal of keeping rates stable.

The Workers Compensation Act requires WorkSafeBC to set premium rates annually for employers in order to pay for the workers’ compensation system.

Annual base premium rates are driven by injury rates, return-to-work performance and the resulting cost of claims, as well as investment performance relative to required rates of return.

Each year, the costs in some rate groups go up, some go down and others stay the same. In 2021, 46 percent of employers in B.C. are projected to experience a decrease in their industry base rate, 43 percent will see their industry base rate increase and 11 percent will see no change.

WorkSafeBC’s strong financial position in recent years has allowed the average base premium rate to be discounted below the average cost of claims, with the difference funded from higher-than-required investment returns. The preliminary average base rate of 1.55 percent for 2021 is less than the expected cost rate of 1.84 percent.

Consultations with stakeholders will take place in October, with general information sessions scheduled virtually on Oct. 5 and Oct. 7. These consultations are an opportunity for WorkSafeBC to provide information about upcoming proposed rates and injury trends in B.C., and to discuss how to prevent injuries and reduce claim costs. Further details are posted online at worksafebc.com.