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Washington takes workers’ comp rate holiday

Washington’s Department of Labor and Industries announced that beginning July 1, employers can take a workers’ compensation premium partial rate holiday.

The rate holiday means that most Washington employers will deduct much less from their employees’ paychecks for workers’ compensation premiums. L&I estimates that in the next six months, the state will save $315 million in avoided workers’ comp premiums. In hazardous industries such as construction, manufacturing and agriculture, the savings for employers and workers will be considerable, L&I said.

The six-month reduction in workers’ compensation premiums was proposed by Gov. Chris Gregoire late last year and adopted by the L&I in March.

For work performed from July 1 through Dec. 31, employers and workers will not pay the Medical Aid Fund premium. L&I will pay that premium for them from excess reserves that have accumulated in that fund.

On average, the savings will represent about 34 percent of total premiums paid into the workers’ comp system for work performed in the second half of the year, L&I said. Because employers and workers pay equally into the Medical Aid Fund, both will benefit equally.

The rate holiday is temporary and will end Jan. 1, 2008.

More information is available at www.RateHoliday.LNI.wa .gov.