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Employer WCB Contributions to be Reduced
August 4, 2006

The BC Workers’ Compensation Board has announced plans to reduce the average employer base rate for WCB contributions by 9.8% in 2007. The rate will move from $1.90 to $1.71 per $100 of assessable payroll.

Despite stable injury rates and a trend towards shorter injury duration, the decrease is due largely to double-digit portfolio investment returns rather than reduced claims costs.

The changes will vary by sector to reflect claims experience. Base rates will be reduced for 68% of employers, 10% will pay the same, and 22% will experience rate increases. Specifically,

•Sawmills, paper mills, and employers engaged in industrial and home construction will receive a 20% decrease;

•Public schools, hotels, supermarkets and employers involved in road construction and trucking will receive a reduction of at least 15%;

•Base rates for electrical utilities and forestry will remain virtually unchanged; •Increases will be faced by gas stations (20%), department stores (7.5% ) and ferry services (6.6%);

•Rates for various business services will increase slightly.

The announced reductions are estimates. Final rates may vary when they are set in October, 2006.