WorkSafeBC deferring quarterly premium payments for an additional quarter

Release of preliminary base rates for 2021 postponed until fall

Richmond, B.C. (June 8, 2020) — WorkSafeBC today announced that it is extending the deferral period for quarterly premium payments for an additional three months, without penalty or interest.

In order to ensure account balances are correct, employers will still be required to report their payroll for the first and second quarters by July 20, 2020. However, the payments for the first and second quarters will not be due until October 20, 2020, when third-quarter payments are due.

The deferral only impacts employers who are required to report payroll and pay premiums on a quarterly basis. Employers who report annually will not be impacted because they do not report payroll or pay premiums until March 2021.

WorkSafeBC recognizes the challenges many employers are facing amid the COVID-19 pandemic, and has taken several measures to support them, including:

·         On March 27, WorkSafeBC announced that first-quarter premiums were deferred until June 30, 2020, without penalty or interest. Approximately 27,000 employers in the province opted to take advantage of the premium-deferral measure.

·         On May 26, WorkSafeBC announced it was waiving premiums on wages paid to furloughed workers of employers receiving the Canadian Emergency Wage Subsidy. This change was retroactive to the March 15, 2020 start date of the CEWS and will continue for the duration of the program.

Preliminary Base Premium Rates for 2021

WorkSafeBC is postponing the release of its 2021 preliminary rates — and the associated rate consultation sessions — until the fall of this year.

The release of the preliminary rates and consultation sessions were originally scheduled to occur in July, but WorkSafeBC has determined that additional time is required due to the economic uncertainty resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.

The additional time will provide a better perspective on the prospects for the investment markets and the economy, which is required to complete the year-end forecasting, an integral element in determining next year’s rates.