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NEWSLETTER December 2016 News & Events  Featured Events: Yukon Chamber of Mines Open House Dec 21 Policeman’s Ball & Chamber Gala in Watson Lake Jan 21 Arctic Indigenous Investment Conference Feb 13-15 Membership stickers for 2016/2017 membership have been sent out, if you have misplaced or not received your certificate please contact us and we will be sure to provide you with a new one. In the new year we will be contacting all members to update contact information and company details. If you have the opportunity please check out your listing under the Yukon Chamber Membership page and let us know any updates you may need. http://www.yukonchamber.com/members.aspx

Keep an eye on our website and Facebook for event details

We are happy to welcome a new YCC member:

Come See Us! Suite 205, 2237 – 2nd Ave Whitehorse, YT Y1A 0K7


Optional Workers’ Compensation Coverage Personal wage loss protection and enhanced health care benefits Most Yukon workers automatically get workers’ compensation coverage through their employers. If they are injured on the job, they are entitled to wage replacement, health care, and other benefits from the Yukon Workers’ Compensation Health and Safety Board (YWCHSB). Sole proprietors, business partners, and business owners with employees are not covered for workers’ compensation unless they buy optional coverage from YWCHSB. This leaves them personally responsible for the impact of lost income and health care expenses not covered by territorial health care insurance. Yukon sole proprietors and others who had optional coverage from YWCHSB in 2016 will soon be receiving their annual renewal letters. Here is some basic information about optional coverage to help them decide whether to renew their coverage, and for those who may be considering it.

What does optional coverage provide? Optional coverage benefits include: 1. Wage replacement while you are off work to recover from a work-related injury or illness—and, possibly, a permanent impairment award or death benefits for your survivors. 2. Enhanced health care, including such needs as prescription medication, medical equipment and treatments such as physiotherapy. 3. Return to work support to get you back on the job as quickly and as safely as possible.

How much coverage should I buy? You should purchase coverage that best represents your annual income. The most you can purchase is the maximum wage rate in effect, which for 2017is $85,601.

How much does optional coverage cost? Optional coverage premiums are based on a formula that considers how much wage protection you are purchasing and the assessment rate in effect for your industry. The formula is coverage amount x assessment rate ÷ 100. Assessment rates represent the rate that employers pay in workers’ compensation premiums in relation to their payroll. The rates are specific to each industry group and change from year to year. Here is an example:  The owner of a janitorial services business wants to buy $75,000 of optional coverage.  Janitorial services fall within the ‘Services-High’ rate group.  The assessment rate for this group is $2.94 for every $100 of payroll.  Optional coverage for this business owner would therefore cost $2,205 per year ($75,000 x $2.94 ÷ 100), or about $42 per week.  In the event of a workplace injury, weekly compensation payments for wage replacement would be $1,082. (Wage replacement is 75% of your total, proven income from all sources, up to the maximum wage rate in effect, tax free.)


How do I sign up for Optional Coverage? To apply for optional coverage, download the application form from the YWCHSB website or ask for a form at the YWCHSB office in Whitehorse. For more information about optional coverage, you can call the YWCHSB Employer Services staff at 6675095. If you prefer to speak to the Employer Advisor at YCC, please call 393-6061 or send a note to advisor@yukonchamber.com.


2017 Detailed Workers-Compensation Assessment Rates The Yukon Workers’ Compensation Health and Safety Board (YWCHSB) announced on Thursday the assessment rates for 2017 for each of the industries and rate groups. As was announced early in June, the average rate for 2017 will be $1.87 per $100 of payroll. This is an insignificant increase of about 1% over the corresponding number of $1.85 in 2016. To put this in perspective, the rate in 2009 was $3.00. YWCHSB has subsidised the average rates paid by employers over the last several years by about $0.50 per $100 of payroll. This significant subsidy on all rates has been part of efforts by the YWCHSB to reduce its growing surplus. Without these subsidies funded by surplus funds, employers would have paid higher assessments over the past several years. For example, to cover actual claims costs and administration without that subsidy, the average rate in 2016 would need to be about $2.31 per $100 of payroll, or about $0.46 more than it is. In 2017, the average rate is subsidised by about $0.43. In other words, the true cost of workplace injuries is $2.30 but the average rate is $1.87. These are all average rates. The new rates by industry for 2017 can be found on the YWCHSB website at https://wcb.yk.ca/rates The assessment rates for three of the rate groups (covering almost 1400 employers) decrease anywhere from 0.7% to 1.6%. Those rate groups are Services-Low, Services-High, and Resources and Transportation-Low. The rates for four rate groups: Construction-High, Resources and Transportation-High, Resources and Transportation-Medium, and Services-Medium, (together covering about 1700 employers) increase by 2.8% to 5% respectively. The rate for the last group, Construction-Medium, (covering close to 600 employers) remains unchanged. The reason for the changes is almost entirely the claims experience in each industry; higher claims costs mean higher assessment rates; while lower claims costs mean lower assessment rates. The Chamber’s news release on this can be found on our website at http://www.yukonchamber.com/media/21265/news-release-re-detailed-wcb-assessment-ratesfor-2017-final.pdf


Another $10 Million Rebate to Yukon Employers The Yukon Workers’ Compensation Health and Safety Board (YWCHSB) announced on Thursday that it will issue approximately $10 million in rebates again this year. Similar rebates totalling $10 million were paid out at the end of 2015. Almost every Yukon employer will receive a portion of the rebate. The Yukon Chamber is pleased with this decision. This represents an infusion of $20 million into the Yukon economy in a space of 12 months. YCC approached YWCHSB in the spring of 2015 regarding the surplus reserve situation identified in April of last year. Following those discussions, the Chamber and YWCHSB agreed that a multi-year series of rebates should be issued to bring YWCHSB reserves down to their mandated maximum level within a prudent reserve range. We view the solid stewardship of reserves and the payment of these rebates as good news for Yukon employers.

The Chamber’s news release on this can be found on our website at http://www.yukonchamber.com/media/21268/news-release-re-rebate-on-wcb-assessments-dec2017-final.pdf The guidelines for which employers are eligible and how rebates will be calculated can be found on YWCHSB’s website at https://wcb.yk.ca/rebate Looking back at YCC Highlights in 2016 As a result of continued surplus beyond required reserves, YWCHSB is issuing a $10 million rebate for a second year. Employer cheques should go out this month. At the end of January a business delegation flew to Ottawa for Yukon Days. Special thanks to Rick Harder for participating in the delegation. It was powerful to have participation from a community Chamber so federal ministers heard perspective from outside of Whitehorse. The Transportation Committee workshop last year in Watson Lake included discussion on scheduled flights to Watson Lake. Now that this service has been launched, the Chamber will be working to promote those flights. The Energy Committee developed policies on Energy in the Yukon and Carbon Pricing. The board is reviewing, these and we will be putting the draft policies out for review and comment by all chamber members within the next two weeks. Feedback and comments will be valued. YCC hosted a Gala dinner in June for the Bank of Canada, with the governor of the Bank of Canada as keynote speaker. Our Employer Advisor attended the Dawson City Gold Show to promote his services to employers regarding Workers Compensation Health and Safety. Looking forward to 2017: YCC is pursuing CanNor funding for a policy analyst resource that would also be available to the five community Chambers. We are seeking to host another delegation to Ottawa for Yukon Days at the end of January. YCC is hosting the planning session of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce in early June in Whitehorse. Will be inviting community chamber members to attend and participate


Putting you in touch with Yukon businesses. http://www.directoryyukon.com To find a Yukon business, simply enter a keyword, business name, category or location using the search fields. To register your business click “Register Your Business” in the top right hand corner. For more information, or to edit an existing business listing, please contact the Yukon Chamber of Commerce 867-667-2000 or by email office@yukonchamber.com

Membership Recognition

The Yukon Chamber of Commerce would like to recognize Yukon Spring as they have been a member since 1993. Thank you to all our members for your ongoing support for the efforts of the Yukon Chamber…. It’s your memberships that allow us to do the work we do for the Yukon Business Community.

Yukon Chamber of Commerce Suite 205, 2237 – 2nd Ave Whitehorse, Yukon Y1A 0K7 office@yukonchamber.com 867.667.2000 www.yukonchamber.com

Yukon Chamber of Commerce Newsletter  

December 2016

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