WorkSafeBC keeps premium rate flat for employers in 2024

Journal of Commerce | DCN-JOC News Services | July 31, 2023

VANCOUVER — WorkSafeBC has announced the preliminary average base rate for 2024 will remain unchanged at 1.55 per cent of employers’ assessable payroll.

This will be the seventh year in a row the average base rate has remained at this level, subject to final approvals by the organization’s board of directors.

Annual base premium rates are driven by provincial injury rates, return-to-work performance and the resulting cost of claims as well as investment returns, a WorkSafeBC release stated.

“Each year, the costs in some industries go up, some go down and others stay the same. In 2024, 54 per cent of employers in B.C. are projected to experience a decrease in their industry base rate, 37 per cent will see their industry base rate increase, and nine per cent will see no change,” the release detailed.

As part of the rate-setting process, annual premium rates are set with higher-trending claim costs moving to higher-risk rate groups and pay higher rates, while lower-trending claim costs move to lower-risk rate groups and pay lower rates.

The Province of British Columbia’s Workers Compensation Act requires WorkSafeBC to set premium rates annually for employers to pay for the workers’ compensation system. Premiums fund the costs associated with work-related injuries or diseases, health care, wage loss, rehabilitation and administration.

“WorkSafeBC’s strong financial position in recent years has allowed the average base premium rate to be kept below the average cost of claims, with the difference funded from surplus funds. The preliminary average base rate of 1.55 per cent for 2024 will be less than the expected cost rate of 1.75 per cent,” the release said.

WorkSafeBC projects between 2020 and 2024 $1.8 billion of surplus funds will have been used to keep the rates paid by employers below the cost of claims.

Rate Information Sessions with employers are scheduled virtually for Sept. 14 with more details posted online at The WorkSafeBC board of directors will finalize the 2024 premium rates in November.