WorkSafeBC has received a number of enquiries on whether relief of costs to employers during the COVID-19 pandemic are being considered.
While existing policy does not provide for relief of costs for claims where COVID-19 has been accepted as a compensable occupational disease (direct COVID-19 claims costs), WorkSafeBC excluded these costs in the calculation of the expected new injury costs for 2023 and experience rating for employers. This approach taken by WorkSafeBC recognizes the negative impact that the COVID-19 pandemic has had on these employers. However, for employers who incurred direct COVID-19 claims costs, these costs have been reflected in their rate group balance, and amortized over a period of five years, as adjustments to the rate groups’ future premium rates.
Delay costs that may be associated with COVID-19 (e.g., additional claims costs incurred due to delayed access to health care treatment) are not being considered for exclusion primarily because there is no existing policy mechanism for doing so but also because of the obvious complexities and costs associated with making such determinations on a case-by-case basis. No new policy is being developed to exclude these costs.