Service NL
November 29, 2016

The following statement was given today in the House of Assembly by the Honourable Eddie Joyce, Minister Responsible for WorkplaceNL:

Minister Commends WorkplaceNL on Assessment Rate Announcement

Mr. Speaker, I rise in this Honourable House today to commend WorkplaceNL on its recent announcement of changes that show the strength of our workplace health, safety and compensation system.

Mr. Speaker, the rate of workplace injuries is at an all-time low in our province. The number of new reported lost-time injuries over the past year was 1.5 per 100 workers.

When WorkplaceNL receives fewer claims from injured workers the result is typically lower costs for employers, and more people going home safely at the end of their work day.

As well, it pleases me to report that WorkplaceNL’s Injury Fund is fully funded, and we will strive to ensure that it remains so for years to come.

Mr. Speaker, these lower injury rates and the fully funded position have enabled WorkplaceNL to reduce the average assessment rate for employers by 14 cents, or six per cent, to $2.06 per $100 of assessable payroll. As well, the maximum compensable and assessable earnings for injured workers will increase to $63,420, remaining the highest in Atlantic Canada. Both of these changes are effective January 1, 2017.

Education has been a key component in reducing workplace injuries, Mr. Speaker, and we will continue to support safety training and other education initiatives.

I would like to commend the collaborative efforts of workers, employers, employer groups, labour groups, safety associations, WorkplaceNL and government which combine to make workplaces in our province safer for everyone.

Working together, we are reducing costs to the employer-funded workers’ compensation system, while ensuring injured workers continue to receive benefits to which they are entitled.

As a result, Mr. Speaker, we are helping more Newfoundlanders and Labradorians live safe and healthy lives.

Thank you.

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2016 11 29                              2:00 p.m.