For Immediate Release
(WINNIPEG) – The Workers Compensation Board of Manitoba's (WCB) 2017 Annual Report and Five Year Plan was tabled at the Legislature today. The WCB has been on a mission to re-engineer the workers compensation system to make it more efficient and responsive. The hard work is paying off and, in 2017, Manitoba employers paid $18 million less in premiums to fund the system.
"We have made great advancements in how we operate our business while still maintaining our excellent benefits and services to injured workers," said Winston Maharaj, President and CEO of the WCB. "Our focused efforts in Return to Work, revamping our rate model to be more fair and balanced, along with our continued efforts working with employers and workers to reduce workplace injuries and illnesses are seeing tangible results."
The WCB covers 77 percent of Manitoba workers and serves over 36,000 employers. In 2017, the WCB achieved an operating surplus of $57 million while still lowering the average assessment rate to $1.10. The 2018 average assessment rate will be reduced a further 14 percent to $0.95.
"Our strong and prudent financial stewardship, along with our decisive actions in revamping the workers compensation system, is the result of strong engagement with our customers, our partners and stakeholders," said Maharaj. "Our time loss injury rate remained stable at 2.9. Efforts in returning workers to health and meaningful work is improving with the average days paid for wage loss claims coming in at 31.7 days compared to 32.5 in 2016."
The sound financial principles demonstrated by the WCB allowed the company to weather the market crash in 2008 while also maintaining or lowering average assessment rates. The WCB now has a surplus well above the 130 percent reserve fund target and the same prudent approach will be taken to return the surplus to employers in the near future.
"We are currently working on a plan that will return the surplus funds to employers beginning in 2019," said Maharaj. "The foreseeable future has us maintaining an average assessment rate at $0.95 while still meeting our reserve fund target. Overall, our company's financial sustainability is secure while we continue to offer the comprehensive benefits and services that injured workers rely on today and into the future."
About the WCB of Manitoba
The Workers Compensation Board of Manitoba is a mutual workplace injury and disability insurance agency funded by employer premiums. We are here to insure and support safe and healthy work and workplaces. We put workers and employers at the centre of all we do. We provide them with valued services for injury prevention, compensation and return to health and work while maintaining system integrity.
For Media Enquiries:
Darlene Muise, Manager, Communications
204-954-4864 • 1-855-954-4321, ext. 4864