The Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (“WSIB”) confirmed last week that the Financial Relief Package will allow employers to defer payments for obligations occurring up to August 31, 2020, as previously announced. All regular payment schedules and terms for all employers re-commence on September 1, 2020.
Repayment Obligations of Schedule 1 Employers
All Schedule 1 employers participating in the Financial Relief Package must report their deferred premiums by October 31, 2020. Schedule 1 employers will not be required to repay deferred WSIB premium amounts before January 2021, although those employers may choose to start making deferred premium payments at any time prior to January 2021.
Repayment Obligations of Schedule 2 Employers
Schedule 2 employers will not be required to pay their deferred amounts before January 2021 either, although those employers may choose to start making deferred payments at any time prior to January 2021 .
In the event an employer requires longer repayment terms due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the WSIB requests that they contact them to discuss their options.
In addition, the WSIB has committed that costs associated with COVID-19 related claims will not be charged to the individual employer, but will be allocated on a Schedule-wide basis.
Current Status of Financial Relief Measures in Other Provinces
In Alberta, all private sector employers, including businesses with coverage only in place for business owners and directors (personal coverage), as well as those in voluntary industries with coverage in place on or before March 23, 2020, have had their 2020 premiums deferred without interest to 2021. Invoices for 2020 premiums have been stopped for the rest of the year and employers who have already made payments for their 2020 premiums will be refunded. In addition, when invoicing resumes in 2021, small- and medium-sized private sector employers (with $10 million or less in insurable earnings for 2020) will have 50% of their 2020 premiums waived. More information on Alberta’s Workers’ Compensation Board COVID-19 financial relief measures and other service updates can be found here.
In British Columbia, employers who report payroll and make payments quarterly can defer their payments from this year’s first two quarters without penalty or interest until October 20, 2020. Employers were required to have reported their payroll for this year’s first two quarters by July 20, 2020. Employers who report payroll on an annual basis do not need to report their 2020 payroll or pay their 2020 premiums until March 2021. WorkSafeBC is also postponing the release of its 2021 preliminary rates and rate consultation sessions until the fall of this year. More information on WorkSafeBC’s COVID-19 financial relief measures can be found here.
In Nova Scotia, all premium payments have been deferred until October, with interest and late payment fees waived until further notice. Information on Nova Scotia’s Workers’ Compensation Board COVID-19 financial relief and other service updates can be found here.
More details on the WSIB’s update on the Financial Relief Package can be found here.
Mathews Dinsdale’s initial announcement regarding the Financial Relief Package can be found here.
We will continue to update our clients with information as soon as it becomes available. If you have any questions about this topic, or other COVID-19 related questions, please do not hesitate to contact a Mathews Dinsdale lawyer, and for Workers’ Compensation specific questions you may also contact a CompClaim consultant or refer to the Firm’s COVID-19 website resources.