Employer financial incentive programs: Newfoundland and Labrador’s experience

Brenda Greenslade, Workplace Health, Safety and Compensation Commission, St. John’s, Canada

Abstract

Overview: In the early 2000s, the Workplace Health, Safety and Compensation Commission (the Commission) in Newfoundland and Labrador tried to find a more direct and responsive way to motivate employers to establish safer and healthier workplaces and better return-to-work practices. Similar to other Canadian workers’ compensation boards, the Commission had an existing experience rating program. Yet, it was felt that the system was too complex, was based on industry averages instead of individual employer performance, and had a lag between a change in cost experience and the adjustment to the employer’s rate. The system at that time also lacked employer incentives for good prevention and return-to-work practices.

This presentation provides the “real world experience” of the Commission’s development of an employer financial incentive program to respond to these needs, called PRIME. The presentation explains how the PRIME program was developed and implemented, some of the challenges faced along the way, and how PRIME operates today.

Conclusion: When it was determined that improvements were needed to the Commission’s experience rating program, the Commission sought new and creative ways of using financial incentives to improve workplace injury prevention.

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