Rendell, who said the state has experienced significant decreases in the frequency of workers’ compensations claims, attributed the reduced costs to safer workplaces. He also claimed the Work Safe PA initiative, which was implemented 5 years ago, helped businesses and employees improve the workplace safety practices that led to lower costs.
“Right now, Pennsylvania employers are benefiting from the excellent job they are doing to provide safe workplaces for their employees,” Rendell said. “Additionally, our workers' compensation insurance system remains strong and competitive.”
The 10.22 percent cost decrease is an average; costs and savings will vary by business type and claim history, and not all employers will see savings. In addition, businesses with state-certified workplace safety committees will receive a five percent discount on their workers' compensation premiums. Unemployment compensation taxes for 2008 also will be reduced an estimated $141 million.
This is the fourth time the Pennsylvania government has reduced workers’ compensation costs since 2003. In total, these four deductions equal more than $750 million in savings for employers in the past six years.
The announcement comes a week after Rendell presented a budget proposal that reflects a business tax cut of $100 million in 2009, with the continued phase out of the capital stock and franchise tax.