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WorkSafeBC holds preliminary average base premium rate flat for employers in 2024

Published on: July 27, 2023

Seventh straight year that the average base rate will be 1.55 percent

WorkSafeBC announced today that the preliminary average base rate for 2024 will remain unchanged at 1.55 percent of employers’ assessable payroll. Subject to final approvals by WorkSafeBC’s Board of Directors, this will be the seventh year in a row that the average base rate has remained at this level, consistent with WorkSafeBC’s goal of keeping rates stable.

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

Each year, the costs in some industries go up, some go down and others stay the same. In 2024, 54 percent of employers in B.C. are projected to experience a decrease in their industry base rate, 37 percent will see their industry base rate increase, and nine percent will see no change.

Rate-setting process
In setting the annual premium rates, industries with higher-trending claim costs move to higher-risk rate groups and pay higher rates. Those with lower-trending claim costs move to lower-risk rate groups and pay lower rates.

In addition, an individual employer’s claims-cost history is also factored into their rates. Individual employers with a claims-cost history that is lower-than-average for their industry receive a discount on their rates, while employers with a higher-than-average claims-cost history receive a surcharge. This means an employer can drive its premium rate lower by improving health and safety outcomes at their workplace.

Average base premium rate kept below the cost of claims
The Workers Compensation Act requires WorkSafeBC to set premium rates annually for employers to pay for the workers' compensation system. Premiums fund the costs associated with work-related injuries or diseases, health care, wage loss, rehabilitation, and administration.

WorkSafeBC’s strong financial position in recent years has allowed the average base premium rate to be kept below the average cost of claims, with the difference funded from surplus funds. The preliminary average base rate of 1.55 percent for 2024 will be less than the expected cost rate of 1.75 percent.

Between 2020 and 2024, WorkSafeBC projects that $1.8 billion of surplus funds will have been used to keep the rates paid by employers below the cost of claims.

Rate information sessions
Rate information sessions with employers are scheduled virtually on July 27 and Sept. 14, 2023. These sessions are an opportunity for WorkSafeBC to provide an update on the financial state of the workers’ compensation system, rate and classification changes, and information for employers on how they can influence their rate through improved health and safety practices. Further details are posted online.

WorkSafeBC’s Board of Directors will finalize the 2024 premium rates in November of this year.


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 2.6 million workers and 270,000 employers across B.C.

For more information, contact
WorkSafeBC Media Relations