Workers' compensation rebate cheques coming to Yukon employers

·2 min read

Yukon employers will be getting a cheque in the mail soon, from the Yukon Workers' Compensation Health and Safety Board (YWCHSB).

The board is sending out about $10 million in rebates to employers who pay into the compensation fund.

YWCHSB spokesperson Heather Avery said the compensation fund has a surplus, owing to good investments and strong markets. When the fund exceeds a certain amount, rebates are paid out to reduce any surplus.

The goal is to maintain enough money in the fund to cover any costs or future costs associated with workplace injuries, but not to let the fund continue to grow.

"The board looks to give that money back, either through a rebate or a rate subsidy. This year, the board has decided to issue a rebate," Avery said.

"It's really a result of the markets ending the year in such a strong way."

Businesses with 2020 assessment payments still owing will see the rebate applied to their outstanding balance.

The board says the compensation fund was in good shape at the end of 2019, and so was able to weather the storm when the pandemic hit and markets slumped.

Avery says rebates are calculated based on the premiums employers have paid into the fund between 2017 and 2019. The board has also eased the criteria for employees to be eligible.

"We're hoping it will provide financial relief to Yukon employers, including those hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic," Avery said.

In a news release on Thursday, Yukon Chamber of Commerce (YCC) president Patrick Rouble called the rebates "welcome news."

"YCC will carefully review YWCHSB's next annual financial results, which we expect will be released this spring, to determine if the current $10 million rebate has brought YWCHSB reserves within the prescribed range of 121 per cent - 129 per cent of total liabilities," Rouble said in a written statement.

Rebate cheques are expected to go out in the mail next week, Avery said.