The WSIB has recently implemented a number of policy changes focused on reintegrating workers back into the workplace following an injury, as well as extending the experience rating window for non-construction employers.
Employers across the province should pay particular attention to the amendments to Board Policy Document No. 13-02-02 – NEER, which extends the NEER window to four years effective July 15, 2011. These amendments apply to most claims that have occurred since January 1, 2008, and will be reflected on December, 2011 quarterly NEER statements.
Under the old system, an employer who paid more than $25,000 in average annual premiums felt the financial impact of a WSIB claim for 3 years post-injury. For example, a 2008 claim would have ceased to impact employers as of September 30, 2011. Now, the WSIB will continue to review the costs of a similar claim until September 30, 2012.
To minimize the impact of the four-year NEER window, employers must:
– Develop, implement, and adhere to comprehensive return to work policies and procedures
– Review the functional abilities of injured workers continuously to determine whether modified duties can be offered
– Communicate regularly with the WSIB case managers regarding active claims
– Monitor and manage all WSIB claims, especially those that remain in the NEER window, to identify potential opportunities for cost relief, etc.;
– Consider appealing adverse decisions that may have a significant impact on the company’s experience rating.
Workplace Law Consulting Inc. holds quareterly workshops on WSIB Claims Management, contact us for upcoming course details.