The Ministry of Labour is currently holding a short consultation on how the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) should distribute “surplus” funds. The Ministry’s discussion paper follows up on a key recommendation of the WSIB Operational Review report (2020) that the workers’ compensation board should hand out financial surpluses above a certain level to employers.
What the Ministry proposes (p.2):
At 115 per cent sufficiency, the WSIB would have discretion to distribute any surpluses, but would not be required to do so. At 125 per cent sufficiency, the WSIB would be required to distribute surpluses to employers.
However the recommendation and proposal ignore an inconvenient fact: injured workers’ benefits were cut to achieve this surplus and eliminate the WSIB’s so-called unfunded liability.
Before discussing bonuses for employers (who were granted almost 30% in premium rate savings in 2019), as ONIWG President Janet Paterson says, “let’s make sure they know that injured workers must be paid first.”
Restore the benefits cut, cover COVID extra costs, fund much-needed services for injured workers… and ? Let the Ministry know how you think surplus funds should be distributed.
The timeline is short: send your comments, ideas and suggestions by August 10, 2021 to the Ontario Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development by:
Mail: Surplus Distribution Model Consultations, Health, Safety and Insurance Policy Branch, 400 University Avenue, 14th Floor, Toronto, Ontario, M7A 1T7
Please email firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions or concerns.
(This is a public consultation so responses may be posted or shared – see instructions (p.3-4) in the Discussion paper on protecting privacy)