Small Business gives Alberta High Marks Among Canada’s Workers’ Compensation Systems


Central Canada lags behind in CFIB ranking 

CALGARY – Alberta boasts the nation’s most improved workers’ compensation system, moving from fifth to third, according to the second edition of the Canadian Federation of Independent Business’ (CFIB) Small Business Workers’ Compensation Index. 

The report ranked workers’ compensation systems through the lens of a small- and medium-sized business (SME), examining 35 indicators in seven major areas: cost of premiums; claims management; experience rating; classification and assessment; coverage; long-term financial sustainability; and customer service.  Scores were assessed on a scale of 0 to 10, where 0 is worst and 10 is best. 

“This report is timely as the Alberta Government undertakes a review of boards and commissions across the province.  Since the system is fully funded by employers, triggering refunds to small business owners much sooner would put billions back into the economy.  The surplus distribution should kick in closer to 110% of the operating budget instead of the current 128% ,” said Amber Ruddy, CFIB Director of Provincial Affairs for Alberta.  

New Brunswick scored an overall 7.00 out of 10 thanks to consistently strong scores across the board, edging out Prince Edward Island (6.69) for top spot.  Alberta (6.35), Nova Scotia (5.86) and British Columbia (5.70) rounded out the top five. 

Newfoundland and Labrador (5.61), Saskatchewan (5.17), Manitoba (5.15), Quebec (4.30) and Ontario (3.59) round out the bottom half of the list.  The workers’ compensation boards in both Quebec and Ontario have been working cooperatively with CFIB in recent years, and have begun to take steps to address small business concerns.   

Nearly two-thirds of business owners identify workers’ compensation, occupational health and safety as their most burdensome provincial regulations.  Recently we’ve started to experience significant struggles, specifically in regards to adding new categories for farm and ranches, as well as higher premiums for most industries for the first time in a decade.  Addressing red tape, keeping costs reasonable for employers, and improving customer service would go a long way for small businesses,” added Ruddy. 

Read the report, Ranking Workers’ Compensation Boards in Canada: Small Business Workers’ Compensation Index


CFIB is Canada’s largest association of small- and medium-sized businesses with 109,000 members across every sector and region.