WSIB Premium Setting Policy
by Greg Snider edited by Steve Mantis
I read with dismay recently the story of Robert Piche, a small business owner, and his problems with the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board. Does this sound odd coming from an activist for Injured Workers? It shouldn’t many WSIB policies are hurtful to both businesses and employers.
Don’t get me wrong Mr. Piche is still better off than the many Injured Workers denied employment by a competitive workplace and a damaged body while also being denied any form of compensation by WSIB. Granted Mr. Piche who has a disability and that can be a barrier to other employment he also made a choice to invest in a business and he would have gladly taken all future profits.
That said Mr. Piche does find himself in a very unnecessary mess. Mr. Piche owns a business that does Power Washing at some Tim Horton’s and McDonalds Restaurants. He feels he should be paying $4.00 for every $100.00 of insurable earnings, but WSIB believes he should pay $18.31 per $100.00 of Insurable earnings.
Why the difference of opinion? The WSIB’s business clasification system. WSIB has 156 different rate groups, but even with that many different groups they don’t have one that easily includes Mr. Piche’s business. So instead of getting the low housekeeping rate he receives the high Construction Rate. Sadly Mr. Piche represents only one of a large number of businesses being caught in this WSIB mess.
So here is a simple solution. Have one rate across the all business. Sure some business will complain that they are subsidizing other companies involved in less safe work and that would to a degree be true, but we do that with OHIP and countless other payments and programs. Consider how much time and money is being wasted by businesses trying to get a lower rate or WSIB determining and defending decisions on a company’s rate.
Sadly, WSIB in a desperate attempt to hide the evidence of a failed Experience Rating Program has for the past several years been working on melding the Experience Rating Program with its failed Rate payment system. WSIB is determined to be taught a lesson I learned as a child – Two wrongs don’t make a right. But will they notice their failure when it happens?