WorkSafeNB’s board of directors wants to know what the province’s workers and employers think about possible enhancements to worker benefits under the Workers’ Compensation (WC) Act.
In 2021, WorkSafeNB and the Government of New Brunswick completed a comprehensive review of workers’ compensation legislation which identified key issues to consider for legislative change. As a result, the board wants to consult on two key benefit improvements that would reduce the financial burden for injured workers and allow them to focus on their recovery:
- Increasing the percentage paid for loss of earnings benefits from 85% to 90%.
- Increasing the maximum annual earnings threshold so more workers have their full wages covered.
Board chairperson Mel Norton said the time is right to consult New Brunswickers on these topics.
“Loss of earning benefits were reduced almost 30 years ago when WorkSafeNB was underfunded. Now that we are fully funded and employer assessment rates have stabilized, we want to take the opportunity to revisit this benefit with our stakeholders.
New Brunswick is also slightly below the national average for the proportion of its workforce that has 100% of their pre-accident earnings covered. Increasing the threshold would ensure more workers could focus on their recovery instead of their bills.”
The consultation will run for 90 days. Once complete, Norton said the board will be able to make specific recommendations to Government for legislative change.
“With our stakeholders’ input, we believe we can create the best workers’ compensation system in Canada, with stable rates for employers and competitive benefits for workers. It’s your system to design.”