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WorkSafeBC announces preliminary average premium rates for 2021

Published on: September 23, 2020

Richmond, B.C. — WorkSafeBC announced today that the preliminary average base rate for 2021 will remain unchanged at 1.55 percent of employers’ assessable payroll. This will be the fourth year in a row that the average base rate has remained at this level, consistent with WorkSafeBC’s goal of keeping rates stable.

The Workers Compensation Act requires WorkSafeBC to set premium rates annually for employers in order to pay for the workers' compensation system.

Annual base premium rates are driven by injury rates, return-to-work performance and the resulting cost of claims, as well as investment performance relative to required rates of return.

Each year, the costs in some rate groups go up, some go down and others stay the same. In 2021, 46 percent of employers in B.C. are projected to experience a decrease in their industry base rate, 43 percent will see their industry base rate increase and 11 percent will see no change.

WorkSafeBC’s strong financial position in recent years has allowed the average base premium rate to be discounted below the average cost of claims, with the difference funded from higher-than-required investment returns. The preliminary average base rate of 1.55 percent for 2021 is less than the expected cost rate of 1.84 percent.

Consultations with stakeholders will take place in October, with general information sessions scheduled virtually on Oct. 5 and Oct. 7. These consultations are an opportunity for WorkSafeBC to provide information about upcoming proposed rates and injury trends in B.C., and to discuss how to prevent injuries and reduce claim costs. Further details are posted online at

COVID-19 and WorkSafeBC premiums

WorkSafeBC has taken the following actions to assist businesses affected by the pandemic:

  • WorkSafeBC allowed employers who pay their premiums quarterly to defer their first quarter payments for six months and their second quarter payments for three months. Approximately 27,000 employers took advantage of the option to defer first quarter payments, while 16,500 employers deferred second quarter payments.
  • WorkSafeBC announced in late May that it was waiving premiums on wages paid to furloughed workers of employers receiving the Canadian Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS). This change was retroactive to the March 15, 2020 start date of the CEWS and will continue for the duration of the program.


Premium Rates

About WorkSafeBC

WorkSafeBC engages workers and employers to prevent injury, disease, and disability in B.C. When work-related injuries or diseases occur, WorkSafeBC provides compensation and support to people in their recovery, rehabilitation, and safe return to work. We serve approximately 2.5 million workers and 249,000 employers across B.C.

For more information, contact

WorkSafeBC Media Relations