At today’s first Annual General Meeting, the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) announced effective January 1, 2017, an average of five percent premium rate reduction for businesses operating in Ontario. This will save businesses in Ontario about $250 million on an annual basis. Depending on the rate group a business belongs to, its premium rate reduction could be up to 14 percent. (For example, Rate Group 636 – Other Sales decreases by 9.6%, Rate Group 604 – Food Sales decreases by 7.1%, Rate Group 641 – Clothing Stores decreases by 13.8%) This premium rate reduction is the first since 2001. This saving will allow businesses to re-invest in their operations.

It is important to note that WSIB also plans to provide premium rate relief in 2018 and 2019, assuming economic conditions remain favourable. The Unfunded Liability (UFL) is currently at $5.6Billion and is expected to be paid-off by 2021 – six years earlier than expected. The earlier retirement of the UFL is providing the foundational basis for future premium rate relief in Ontario.

Retail Council of Canada has been actively advocating for rate premium reductions and will continue to work with WSIB to ensure future premium rates are reduced for Ontario retailers.

If you have any questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to contact: Gary Rygus, Director Government Relations (Ontario) at: grygus@retailcouncil.org or 416-467-3744