(Mar 24/17) Restaurants Canada is pushing the New Brunswick government to give restaurateurs relief from skyrocketing Workers’ Compensation Board (WCB) premiums. Foodservice operators are concerned about the dramatic 75% increase in assessment premiums over the past three years – from $0.75 per $100 of payroll in 2015 to $1.31 per $100 of payroll in 2017. This increase is mostly due to recent legislative changes, including the creation of an independent appeal tribunal that can establish policy.
Wins so far
Due to efforts by Restaurants Canada and the business community, the government agreed to an audit of WorkSafeNB. It’s reducing costs by passing Bill 15, An Act to Amend the Workplace Health, Safety and Compensation Commission and Workers’ Compensation Appeals Tribunal Act.
We met with the Minister of Labour, senior officials and the CEO of WorkSafeNB to express our members’ concern and call for rate relief solutions. Here’s what we’re pushing for:
- restore WorkSafeNB policy-making authority;
- limit retroactive application of WCAT decisions;
- calculate the non-injury portion of CPP disability benefits;
- annuity set-aside for CPP disability benefits; and
- non-compensable intervening conditions.
Restaurants Canada has always viewed WorkSafeNB as one of the best-run workers’ compensation systems in Canada, with rates at the lower end of the Canadian average. However, given economic conditions in the province and the labour-intensive nature of the restaurant industry, we will keep pushing this issue.