A few weeks back, the Government of Manitoba released a review of its workers’ compensation premium assessment system. Of particular interest as the impact of experience rating on safety and access.
Under experience-rating schemes, employers are rewarded for lower claim costs via lower WCB premiums. There is a fair amount of research that suggests employer respond to this incentive by aggressively managing injury claims rather than reducing injuries. Manitoba’s system has one of the more “aggressive” experience rating systems, thereby incentivizing employers to respond.
The Manitoba study found significant evidence that employers game this system via claims management, rather than reducing injuries. While this is not a surprising finding, the appendices are worth a read. One reproduces a very blunt bottom line calculation about how the employer can game the experience-rating system via modified work (suggesting that some employers are indeed amoral calculators) and thereby evade statutory reporting requirements. Another provides lengthy worker experiences with employer claims management.
-- Bob Barnetson