By Olivia D’Orazio
And, according to Sandeep Jindal, legal counsel, and Michele Bruton, senior WCB financial analyst, for Isthmus Legal, preparation will be key for all employers in Ontario to get ahead of the changes.
“The workers’ compensation board is funded by employers and the premiums they pay to the board and that system,” Bruton explains. “Broadly speaking, the WSIB is doing a complete overhaul of their system in regards to employers and how employers are classified and pay premiums.”
Arguably, one of the most significant changes involves the complete revamping of the board’s classification system, which will more closely resemble the widely used NAICS system, between 22 and 32 classes. The WSIB currently uses a 155-class system.
The board will also make significant changes to the way it calculates premium rates within those classes, how it calculates experience ratings and the way costs are charged back to the employer.
“There is going to be hundreds of changes that HR professionals are going to have to deal with when this happens – and it’s going to happen,” Jindal says.
“There is a massive amount of fine details of things that are going to change,” Bruton adds. “And everything is going to intertwine as well, so one thing is going to impact five other things and it’s just going to branch off from there.”
While the WSIB is still in the consultation phase, HR professionals across the province must prepare now for the changes coming down the pike.
“HR professionals’ entire way of (working with WSIB) is going to be obsolete in the next 18 months and they’re going to have to put into place an entire new process,” Jindal says. “Whatever happens, the transition is going to be (challenging) and (HR professionals) need to be prepared to be at the front of the line at that transition.”