The Meredith Principles
I am often asked by employers “what does our assessment payment go toward?” “Is this another government tax?” Both very good questions arising out of misunderstandings people have with Workers’ Compensation. To explain this I always refer back to what is called “The Meredith Principles.”
Over one hundred years ago, Sir William Meredith tabled a report in the Ontario Legislature, establishing what would become known as the Meredith Principles. Like all workers compensation systems in Canada, the Meredith Principles are the foundation of the WSCC.
The Meredith Principles are a historic compromise in which employers fund the compensation system and share the liability for injured workers. In return, injured workers receive benefits while they recover, and cannot sue their employers.
The workers compensation system in the Northwest Territories and Nunavut is an essential part of life in the north. It contributes to social and economic stability, and positively impacts quality of life for northern workers at the same time protecting employers from lawsuits.
The Meredith principles are based on:
NO FAULT COMPENSATION: workers are paid benefits regardless of how the injury occurred. The worker and employer waive the right to sue. There is no argument over responsibility or liability for an injury.
SECURITY OF BENEFITS: a fund is established to guarantee funds exist to pay benefits to workers.
COLLECTIVE LIABILITY: all employers share liability for workplace injury insurance. The total cost of the compensation system is shared by all employers. All employers contribute to a common fund. Financial liability becomes their collective responsibility.
INDEPENDENT ADMINISTRATION: the organizations who administer workers’ compensation insurance are separate from government.
EXCLUSIVE JURISDICTION: only workers’ compensation organizations can provide workers’ compensation insurance. All compensation claims are made directly to the compensation board. The board is the decision-maker and final authority for all claims.
These principles have been around for over 100 years and are still standing the test of time of fairness for the entire system. As stated in the Principles employers fund the system and ensure workers are taken care of if they are injured at work. It is insurance for both workers and employers.
The Workers’ Compensation Act lays out when employers pay their assessments. That day is quickly approaching. Employers are reminded to submit their Annual Payroll Report by February 28. You can click on this link to get started.
I am pleased to see that to date 320 employers have already used the NEW service offered to report annual payroll. The WSCC is very happy with our ability to provide this service.
Another great addition for employers is that you can also make payments online. These are just two new ways we are working with Employers to make reporting easier. DG