Still time to comment on changes to WSIB Premiums

In partnership with the Kawartha Manufacturers’ Association (KMA) and Peterborough and the Kawarthas Home Builders Association (PKHBA), the Chamber held a WSIB Roundtable on Wednesday, January 6, 2016 at the Kawartha Shrine Club.  The event was designed to inform and gather feedback on future changes as to how they will determine premium rates for businesses that require WSIB coverage. The WSIB is an independent trust agency that administers compensation and no-fault insurance for Ontario workplaces.  

At the meeting WSIB Executive Director of Strategic Policy Jean-Serge Bidal emphasized that the changes are a “fundamental shift in the way premium rates will be determined for businesses, with one of the main goals to reflect the risk and effort toward health and safety for each business in Ontario.”

Current Framework

The current framework is a complex classification system with 130+ categories and is not completely reflective of current and new industries that have evolved since the early 1980s.  There is a lot of volatility in the current system around premium rates, with businesses paying  a basic group rate and then 18-24 months later receiving either a rebate  or a surcharge based on claims. The rates are currently determined by identifying predominant business activity through payroll. 

The predominant business activity also determines into which category your business falls.   

WSIB Proposed Framework


  • Goals of the proposed rate framework: Clear and Consistent, Fairly Allocated Premiums, Balanced Rate Responsiveness, Transparent and Understandable, Collective Liability, Ease of Administration 
  • Fundamental Change:Rates will be individual to each business and reflect the risk that particular business brings to the system in their category
  • Categories will be based on the North American Industrial Classification System (NAICS), which is reviewed every five years and is more reflective of the current economic makeup
  • 3 variables from the employer will be considered by WSIB to set future rates: payroll, cost of claims, number of claims (speaks to predictability) 
  • Each industry class will have a projected premium rate and a risk band associated with it that covers 40 - 80 pricepoints, with the Class Projected Premium Rate serving as the median
  • Once a business is placed on the risk band, it’s premium will not move more than 3 pricepoints in either direction per year
  • The last six years of WSIB experience will be used in the premium equation, with the most recent three weighted at 2/3 and the remaining three at 1/3


In September 2015, the Peterborough Chamber of Commerce was part of the taskforce that worked on a submission to government, that included 7 recommendations on how to improve the new rate
framework for business.  These recommendations were to “create greater certainty for employers and ensure that Ontario benefits from an effective workers’ compensationsystem,” wrote Allan O’Dette, President & CEO, Ontario Chamber of Commerce.

The Chamber was pleased to see that in December 2015 when the WSIB released an updated framework, six of the seven recommendations from the Chamber Network were incorporated into the plan.

Next Steps

Comments on the proposed framework are open until the end of March 2016.  The WSIB will be releasing updated premium rate information by the end of January and will be seeking approval of the framework by late 2016.  The current implementation date is no sooner than 2019, with a year before implementation so businesses will have time to determine how the changes will affect their business. 


Send your comments to the WSIB Secretariat via


to the Chamber via email:


A one-page information sheet on the WSIB roundtable 

Comment through the "Peterborough Chamber" group of LinkedIn.

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