Newfoundland and Labrador has made “significant strides” in reducing red tape for entrepreneurs, says the Canadian Federation of Independent Business.
Representatives from the association met with Nick McGrath, minister responsible for the Workplace Health, Safety and Compensation Commission, and Ralph Tucker, chairman of the commission, Tuesday morning.
“The province has made some pretty significant strides in the past year or so with its accountability framework,” said, Louis-Martin Parent, the federation’s senior policy analyst. “From what we see, it’s a pretty multi-faceted program that touches on a lot of the (issues) that we have when it comes to these kinds of things, so political leadership, measurement, reporting.”
Red-tape can be a significant impediment for businesses, especially small ones, said Parent.
“Most people don’t realize this, but red-tape is probably one of the top two or three issues for businesses, especially for the smallest businesses,” he said, “because when you go into business and you’re a mechanic or a florist or something, you’re good at being a mechanic or florist; you’re not good at dealing with CRA necessarily, you’re not an HR person, you’re not a finance person, but you’re supposed to deal with all these various issues. Sometimes it’s the forms that are an issue, but also sometimes it’s the customer service, or not having the requirements written in plain language. There’s a lot of different aspects to red tape.”
The CFIB also discussed high workers’ compensation rates with McGrath and Tucker
“A couple of specific requests that we had were to base premiums on actual payroll, not estimated payroll,” he said.
“Sometimes, as a small business, you don’t know what your payroll is going to be two or three months down the road.”
The federation also asked for a waiting period — the amount of time after an accident that workers’ compensation starts being paid — of two or three days. “That’s common in most insurance systems. The other three Atlantic Provinces have a waiting period, so it’s important for us to consider the costs to the system, and to avoid claims that might not be as necessary as others. We want to make sure the system is sustainable in the long term for everybody involved, so if we implement just a two- or three-day waiting period, I think it would of benefit for everyone.”
For medical emergencies and hospitalizations, benefits would still be paid immediately, said Parent.