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Ontario to hike insurance premiums for small employers


October 25, 2012
By Manufacturing AUTOMATION

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The Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) will increase mandatory insurance premiums on employers. That will hit the already struggling small business sector the hardest, says the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB).

According to the CFIB, for a small company with five employees, this announcement could mean having to fork over an extra $394 to the WSIB; bringing their total 2013 premiums to $16,532.

“Small business confidence in Ontario is lower today than it was at the beginning of 2012,” said CFIB’s Ontario vice president Satinder Chera in a statement. “Rolling the dice on higher taxes will further jeopardize jobs and the province’s economic recovery.”

Small business owners had nervously anticipated higher insurance premiums since a report showing the WSIB deep in the red was released earlier this year. Struggling with a $14.2 billion unfunded liability, the province’s workers’ compensation system is entirely funded by premiums on employers. Currently, Ontario’s average premium rate is the third-highest in Canada.

“While recent steps by the Labour Minister to cut costs at the WSIB were encouraging, its cold comfort to the province’s small businesses that are now stuck paying a higher tax bill,” said Chera.