Experience rating: Findings and recommendations of “Funding Fairness”—Ontario WSIB funding review

Harry Arthurs

Dr. Harry Arthurs is a professor at York University’s Osgood Hall Law School, former dean of Osgoode Hall Law School (1972-77), and former president of York University (1985-92). He has extensive experience as a labour lawyer and mediator, and recently led a review of Ontario’s workplace pension system. Arthurs also chaired the Ontario Workplace Safety and Insurance Board’s funding review in 2010-2012.

Arthurs’ publications range widely, covering legal education and the legal profession, legal history and legal theory, labour and administrative law, globalization and constitutionalism. His academic contributions have been recognized by his election as an associate of the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research, a fellow of the Royal Society of Canada and a corresponding fellow of the British Academy. He was awarded the Canada Council’s Killam Prize for his lifetime contributions to the social sciences (2002), the Bora Laskin Prize for his contributions to labour law (2003) and the International Labour Organization's Decent Work Research Prize (jointly with Joseph Stiglitz, 2008).


As chair of the Ontario Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) funding review, Harry Arthurs was confronted with conflicting views of experience rating. Workers' advocates argued that experience rating violates the principle of collective liability and results in claims suppression and other abuses. Employer advocates contended that experience rating represents a form of "insurance equity" that ensures that each employer will pay its fair share of the costs of the system. The governing statute characterizes experience rating as a way of incenting employers to reduce injuries and to encourage workers to return to work. This presentation assesses these contending perspectives and proposes a new approach to experience rating.

Reference: Funding Fairness: A Report on Ontario's Workplace Safety and Insurance System (3.5 MB)