In this article we will help you do a quick assessment of your experience rating performance by answering three very important questions:

  1. How is your performance?
  2. What factors determine your rates?
  3. How does your performance compare to the industry?

(You can find your 2024 Premium Extended Rate Statement on the WSIB Portal, under view your statements – released early November 2023)

1. How is your performance?

Under section B. Your Rate before modifiers, there are two sections to review.

(a) How is your performance trending?

  • Next to Risk Band Change you will find a number that is either positive or negative.  If this number is a negative number, your Risk Band it’s going down – meaning your performance is better than last year. If this number is a positive, your risk band is going up, performance is worse than last year.

Note: for every 1 Risk Band, that is approximately 5% increase or decrease in premiums. 

(b) How do you compare to the industry?

  • Next to Adjusted Actual Risk Band, this number is measured against 60, the industry average.  If you are below 60, you are performing better than industry. Over 60, you are performing worse than industry. If your number is 60, you are on par with industry. 

2. What factors determine your rates?

Under section C. Predictability, there are two sections to review.

(a) What influence does your own performance have on your rates?

  • Next to Actuarial predictability you have been assigned a number.  The greater the number, the greater the influence your own performance has on your rates. The scale is from 2.5% to 100% and is based on your insurable earnings (payroll) and your claim count (think “Rating Factor” in NEER, which was 40% to 100%).

       

Note:  If your predictability is 50% or higher, you have more influence on the increase or decrease of your premiums. Meaning, on the positive side, you have ability to achieve more savings with strong claims performance and claims cost mitigation.  In short, the greater the predictability number, the greater the risk and reward. 

(b) What is the maximum cost you can incur per claim?

  • At the bottom of the Predictability section, you will see your per claim limit. This is the maximum cost an individual claim can have. This number can change by the year and is directly related to your insurable earnings. 

The larger the employer, the greater the per claim cost limit or risk.

3. How does your performance compare to the industry?

There is one section to review. Your performance is found under I. Adjusted Risk Profile.

  • In section I. Adjusted Risk Profile – this is the comparison between your performance and the industry average performance.  Your number is measured against 1, the industry average. 
      • If your number is 1, you are on par with the industry performance.
      • If you are over 1, your costs are higher (worse performance) than industry.
      • Under 1, your costs are lower (better performance) than industry.

This number is key in determining your projected risk band and the best measurement of how your company is performing vs. the industry.

Note: this is your aggregate performance within the 6-year experience rating window. For the 2024 statement years 2017-2022 are considered.

In Conclusion:

At Windley Ely we are here to help employers navigate the WCB’s across Canada. If you are reviewing any statements and your performance is not where you would like it to be, it’s not too late to turn things around or even retroactively address claims to reduce your costs now.

Our strategy for our clients is very simple: Review, Recoup, and Rest Assured.

Review – we take a detailed look at your historical claims to spot opportunities to mitigate costs. Our team of experts will challenge these claims and work to get you favorable decisions.

  • In 2024, we can go back as far as the 2019 claim year in Ontario, to look for cost mitigation and recoup premiums.

Recoup – anytime there is a favourable decision, Windley Ely will ensure that your premiums, past and present, reflect the correct rate.

  • One claim can equal hundreds of thousands of dollars in savings for some employers. 
  • With the 6-year window in Ontario, it’s extremely important that we mitigate all costs to avoid the impact to your premiums for years to come.  For example, a contentious 2022 claim will directly impact your rate from 2024-2029.

Rest Assured – as a partner of Windley Ely, you can be certain that with every new claim, our team of experts will make sure that everything that can be done, will be done. We take the guess work out of WCB with full transparency and support to our clients. As a result, we remove the work from your desk, apply best practices to every claim, and protect your bottom line.

As a true example, in 2023 our Financial Analytics team spotted a WSIB error on our client’s rate calculation. Once the error was corrected by the WSIB, our client received just over $700,000.00 in adjustments on their past and future premiums.  Our experts are trained to spot these errors and know how to get them corrected and refunded on your behalf.

Employment Insurance (EI) has undergone a significant change. The Government of Canada has extended sickness coverage from 17 weeks to 26 weeks. This new timeframe will officially go into effect on December 18th, 2022.

The additional nine weeks was the government’s response to a widespread survey of employers and employees. The goal of the update was to improve the flexibility and inclusivity of the EI program.

Now you may be wondering: how does this change affect your organization? And will this update benefit both employers and employees? Keep reading to learn more about why this change was made and how it benefits your business.

How is Employment Insurance (EI) Changing?

Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) conducted a widespread survey of businesses and employees to gauge the effectiveness of the EI program. After analyzing responses, the agency determined that extending the EI timeframe is in the best interest of both parties and the Canadian economy.

The monetary details remain the same — qualified claimants will still receive 55% of earnings up to a maximum of C$638 per week. So, what changed? The biggest confirmed change is the additional nine weeks employees are entitled to before moving to an employer’s long-term disability (LTD) program.

According to Carla Qualtrough, Minister of Employment for Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion, “The last two years have shown us just how important EI is, but also how much better Canada’s system could be. That’s why we’re working closely with employers, workers, unions, and other partners across the country to make EI fairer, simpler, and more flexible.”

Qualtrough believes this change will benefit Canada’s workforce and the economy overall. She says, “Modernizing a system that serves millions of Canadians each year will have serious implications on our economy and its workforce, and we’re taking the time needed to get it right.”

What Does This Change Mean for Your Business?

The extension of EI sickness coverage allows businesses to follow suit by extending the elimination period of long-term disability programs. 

The elimination period is a stated time frame during which the employee must be injured, disabled, or ill before receiving LTD benefits. The most common timeframe is 90 days, but it can range between 60 days to 365 days. 

Extending elimination periods allows organizations to reduce the overall costs of LTD programs. A more extended elimination period gives injured or disabled employees more time to recover before receiving LTD benefits from the organization.

Ultimately, all of this translates to cost savings for employers. The Government of Canada will now provide more extended benefits, giving injured or sick employees assistance without tapping into the company’s LTD program.

Partner with Windley Ely to Optimize Your LTD Program

Organizations have the potential to update their long-term disability programs in response to the new Employment Insurance timeframe. 

Yet, it can be challenging to understand exactly how to update your program to maximize savings while still providing quality coverage to those who need it.

Windley Ely is an industry-leader in workplace disability management. We help clients in all industries monitor employee absences during the EI sickness phase to identify early and safe return to work opportunities, so they can further reduce the number of claims going to LTD. 

Are you looking for expert guidance in how your business should respond to changes to the EI program? Book a discovery call with our experts today to discover how we can help.

The holidays are a great opportunity for companies and their employees to come together to socialize, celebrate yearly accomplishments, and take part in an important team building activity.

So, how can your company plan a holiday party that is both safe and fun?

A safe and successful business holiday party starts with establishing a clear set of expectations from a business conduct and alcohol or (other substance) consumption perspective.

To avoid “misunderstandings” during the holiday party, it’s a good idea to review your Bullying and Harassment Prevention Policy with your employees and management highlighting that:

  • Bullying and harassment including sexual harassment is not acceptable or tolerated in the workplace.
  • All employees will be treated in a fair and respectful manner at all times
  • All employees must treat each other with respect and courtesy at all times (Note that your policy most likely will not state: “except at the Holiday party when you drink too much…or when you are high”)

Employees must understand that this is a workplace function, and they are expected to behave in a way that is not harassing, intimidating or otherwise inappropriate.

So, what steps can you take to ensure your next holiday party is a positive experience for everyone involved? Here are a few tips we recommend you follow.

Set Expectations Before the Party Starts

Set expectations prior to the party to avoid any unpleasantness afterwards. Disrespectful and rude behavior will be considered misconduct and will not be tolerated.

Prior to the event, inform employees that all workplace rules and policies are in effect, including those related to bullying, harassment (including sexual harassment), and workplace violence.

Liability and Alcohol

Look at options for serving alcohol? Consider Jacobsen v. Nike Canada Ltd. where an employee drank too much during the office holiday party and went to a bar to continue drinking and drove impaired.

He subsequently got into a serious car accident and ended up a quadriplegic. A court found that the employer was 70% responsible for the damages the employee incurred and awarded the employee a whopping $2.7 million in damages.

To help avoid liability here are some tips:

  • Hold an alcohol-free event
  • Set expectations: model the behavior. A drunken manager doesn’t have a lot of credibility
  • Communicate clearly before, during and at the end of the party DO NOT DRIVE IMPAIRED
  • Prior to the party, plan travel and accommodation arrangements. Some options could include taxi vouchers, carpooling with designated drivers, or booking hotel rooms for employees
  • Monitor employees’ alcohol consumption through designated alcohol monitors
  • Set up ticket-based alcohol consumption to limit quantities. Do not provide free and open access to the bar
  • Don’t serve alcohol to under-aged employees or employees who are already visibly intoxicated
  • Close the bar at least 1 hour before the end of the party

In case one or more of your employees drink too much or may otherwise be visibly impaired — we recommend taking the following steps:

  • Consider a system whereby employees leave their car keys with an attendant at the start of the evening to avoid the situation of having to remove keys from an impaired guest.
  • Arrange to have a sober coworker drive the employee home. Alternatively, call the employee’s significant other. Don’t just offer to do so.
  • Insist that the employee take a cab, paid by the employer.
  • If all else fails and the employee insists on driving in an impaired state, call for police assistance.

A Little Planning Goes a Long Way During the Holidays

Setting these expectations will go a long way in preventing issues after the party and save you headaches — and not just those caused by hangovers.

Do you need a Bullying, Harassment and Violence Prevention Policy? Windley Ely can help.

At Windley Ely, we have the expertise to help you build a health and safety program that will allow you to exercise your due diligence, making your business a safer place to work… and party this holiday season.

Book a discovery call today to learn more about how we can help you create a health and safety program that protects your business.

Running a business presents its fair share of challenges, one of which is complying with Health and Safety legislation.

A successful and effective day-to-day Health and Safety program must go beyond the oversimplification of just “being careful.” After all, without critical context into the what, where, and how of a situation — how can you be careful?

So, what’s the logical starting point? We believe it starts with understanding the concept of reasonable care or due diligence.

Due diligence means employers take all reasonable precautions under the circumstances to protect the health and safety of their workers. This obligation of care appears in the Occupational Health and Safety Acts of each province. Here are a few quick examples:

  • Ontario: The Occupational Health and Safety Act 25 (2)(h)
  • British Columbia: The Workers Compensation Act Part 2 Division 4 Section 21 General duties of employers
  • Quebec: The ACT RESPECTING OCCUPATIONAL HEALTH AND SAFETY section 51
  • Nova Scotia: The Occupational Health and Safety Act under DUTIES AND PRECAUTIONS Employers’ precautions and duties 13 (1).

What do they share in common? Each states in their own terms that employers must take every reasonable precaution to protect the health and safety of workers.

6 Steps to Create a Robust Health & Safety Program

The goal of any Health & Safety Program is to keep your people safe while boosting compliance with current regulations.

So, how can you demonstrate due diligence? Your ability as an employer to show that you have acted with due diligence depends on 6 basic elements:

  1. Respect current regulatory laws: You need to respect the Health and Safety Acts, Regulations or Codes of your province or the Federal Acts and Regulations if you are under Federal jurisdiction. This is the baseline starting point for any Health & Safety program.
  2. Identify H&S weak points in your workplace: Next, you need to formally identify any hazards your workers may be exposed to while working at your worksite.
  3. Eliminate or control hazards at the source: With a deep understanding of your hazard landscape, the next step is to eliminate hazards at the source. In situations where this isn’t possible or practical, you will need to implement controls following the hierarchy of effectiveness (from the most to the least effective).
  4. Communicate hazards to your teams: With the right controls in place, it’s time to communicate any hazards to your workers and train them on the appropriate controls.
  5. Supervise your teams using the controls: Even the best controls can fail if your teams don’t understand how to use them properly. Supervise the implementation and usage of controls to ensure they are complying with all appropriate controls.
  6. Measure and review your controls: Lastly, you need to establish a benchmark for success. This means assessing the effectiveness of your controls through a formal review process, allowing you to ensure controls are receiving ongoing maintenance and improvements whenever needed.

And most importantly, the key to making all of these steps successful is to formally document everything in writing.

Building the Foundation for Your Health & Safety Program

You now understand all of the elements required to lay a strong foundation for your Health and Safety program. We’ve used this same model to support companies in all industries through Canada as they work to build effective Health & Safety programs.

Are you looking to take a proactive approach to Health & Safety within your organization?

WE can help! Windley Ely has the expertise to help you build a Health & Safety program that will allow you to exercise your due diligence, making your business a safer place to work.

Click here to learn more about how we can help you create a Health & Safety program built using best practices and our decades of expertise.