Ontario’s Safe Employers Receiving up to $1.5 Billion Rebate
TORONTO — Ontario’s safe employers are receiving a rebate of up to $1.5 billion as Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) surplus funds are returned for the first time. This rebate will give 300,000 businesses back approximately 30 per cent of their annual premium payments, helping create new jobs and allowing for bigger paycheques for workers. This builds on the government’s $2.4 billion that has already been given back to employers through premium reductions, while maintaining benefits for injured workers.
“After historic underfunding and mismanagement, Premier Ford and I are creating generational change at the WSIB to ensure it is working for workers,” said Monte McNaughton, Minister of Labour, Training and Skills Development. “We are getting cheques in the mail for businesses on Main Street who need this relief so they can pay their workers more, create new jobs, and grow our economy. In the coming weeks, I will announce a series of unprecedented supports for the people of Ontario that continue to rebalance the scales in favour of workers.”
The surplus distribution will only be provided to safe employers, who will receive their rebates starting in April. For a business with 80 to 125 employees, this could mean receiving $28,000 to reinvest in their business and workers.
“Ontario businesses are paying the lowest average premium rate in more than 20 years,” said Grant Walsh, Chair of the WSIB. “With solid financial management we can give this rebate to businesses at a time when they need it most while protecting coverage for people injured at work.”
This distribution comes only four years after the elimination of the board’s historic unfunded liability. Today, the WSIB is in its strongest financial position in its history and, as of September 30, 2021, has $6.4 billion in reserve.
- Surplus distribution was a key recommendation in an independent operational review of the WSIB.
- The WSIB provides loss of earnings and other benefits to workers and their survivors, health care, and assists in early, safe return to work for workers injured on the job or made ill by an occupational disease.
- The WSIB is an independent agency. It is entirely funded by employers.
“As the indispensable partner of business and on behalf of our 60,000 members, today’s announcement is welcome news for Ontario employers who have created safe workplaces. Premiums come out of the pockets of business owners and today’s news means that this surplus can be redirected to workers, new technologies and infrastructure.”
– Rocco Rossi
President and CEO, Ontario Chamber of Commerce
“Refunding WSIB surplus to businesses means much needed direct support for retailers and other employers in Ontario. The pandemic has been challenging for many businesses and today’s announcement by the Ontario government puts more money in the hand of employers which they can then reinvest in their business and in their employees, ensuring economic growth.”
– Diane J. Brisebois
President & CEO, Retail Council of Canada
“We thank the Ontario government for acting on CFIB’s long-standing request to return WSIB surplus funds to the employers that paid them. This is great news for Ontario’s small businesses at a time they need it most as they navigate their path to recovery. “
– Dan Kelly
President, Canadian Federation of Independent Business