The Fair Practices Office (FPO) was established in November 2003 as a resource for workers, employers, authorized representatives, external service providers, the general public and for the WCB. It is an independent office within the WCB that promotes and contributes to fairness in our practices and procedures. The role of the FPO is to listen to the customers’ concerns, provide information on how the WCB system operates and work to resolve problems.
Neutral, Impartial and Confidential
The FPO is neutral, impartial and independent of the departments responsible for the decisions it reviews. The FPO reports directly to the Board of Directors through its Chairperson.
Inquiries to the FPO are confidential unless you request we speak directly to WCB staff about your concerns. In these instances, you will be asked to waive confidentiality.
FPO records are not part of your claim file or employer account. FPO records are accessible under The Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act.
- Delays in decision making, communication, payment, etc.
- Concerns about written and verbal communication.
- Staff conduct
- Implementation of Appeal and Board decisions
- Payments of wage loss, medical or travel expenses, independence allowance, permanent functional impairment (PFI) awards, etc.
- Vocational rehabilitation services
- Employer classification, assessments, experience rating, etc.
- Application of policy and procedure.
- Board members’ conduct or decisions
- Decisions under appeal or a decision by the Appeals Department or Board Appeal Tribunal.
- Matters already being dealt with by the Office of the Workers Advocate, unless requested by the Worker’s Advocate
- Alleged illegal or fraudulent acts
- Changes to The Workers’ Compensation Act, 2013 or its Regulations.
If you wish to submit an appeal, you can do so directly with the WCB.
If you are an injured worker and are looking for assistance in submitting an appeal, you can contact the Office of the Workers Advocate at 1.877.787.2456.
If you have a complaint about the WCB that falls outside the mandate of the FPO, Ombudsman Saskatchewan may be able to assist you.
If you have a complaint about The Workers’ Compensation Act or its Regulations, your local MLA or the Minister’s office may be able to assist you. As well, every four years the Committee of Review meets with interested persons or groups who may suggest changes to the legislation.
The FPO accepts inquiries from:
- Injured workers
- A representative appointed to act on behalf of an injured worker or employer
- External service providers
- Members of the public looking for general information about the workers’ compensation system.
The FPO works to promote fairness within WCB practices and procedures. Our role is to be an impartial, confidential and informal resource for workers, their dependants, employers, external service providers, the general public and for the WCB. As an impartial resource, we do not take sides. We assess each situation based on its own merits and work towards a fair resolution and improved services.
When looking at issues of fairness, the FPO will look at several factors including:
How was the decision made? (The decision-making process)
- Did the WCB decision maker have the authority to make the decision?
- Did the person(s) impacted by the decision know that a decision was pending?
- Did they have a reasonable opportunity to provide, correct or respond to information relied on by the decision maker?
- Did the decision maker consider all the relevant information, including legislation, policies and procedures?
- Was the decision consistent with WCB legislation and policies and if so, was the right policy applied at the right time and in the right circumstances?
- Did the decision maker correctly apply their discretion?
Was the decision timely?
- Was the decision made in a timely manner?
- Did the decision maker keep the parties informed throughout the decision-making process?
- Were there delays in the process and if so, were the parties informed of any delays and the reasons for the delay?
- Were new timelines provided and then met?
How was the decision communicated?
- Did the decision maker provide the decision to the affected person(s) and explain it to them?
- Were the decision reasons provided in manner and form easily understood by and accessible to those affected?
- Did the reasons adequately outline the basis for the decision?
- Did the decision maker explain and provide information about how to appeal the decision?
- Was the decision documented on the claim file or employer account?
How was the customer treated?
- Was the customer treated with respect and courtesy throughout the process?
- Was the WCB staff person accessible to the customer and willing to listen?
- Were phone calls or other communication returned and were questions fully answered?
- Were mistakes acknowledged and apologies offered?
Fairness does not necessarily mean that you will get the outcome that you want. It does mean that throughout the process certain procedural steps will be consistently followed, that you will be heard and be treated with respect and courtesy.
- Speak with the WCB staff member most directly responsible
- If your matter is still unresolved, speak with their manager
Raising concerns as soon as possible and directly with WCB staff will help ensure matters can be quickly and easily resolved.
If you still have questions or think you have been treated unfairly, you can contact the FPO by phone, mail, fax or email.
When you contact the FPO, you will first speak to our Intake and Inquiry Officer who will listen to you about your concern, review your claim file and answer your questions about WCB process and policies. With consent, the Officer may raise your concerns internally with WCB staff and will work with you and WCB staff to resolve the concern. The vast majority of calls to the FPO are resolved at the intake level.
If the inquiry is more complex or the issues cannot be resolved at the intake level, the inquiry may be referred to the Fair Practices Officer. The Fair Practices Officer will review the concerns raised and if there is an issue of fairness, they may raise the issue(s) with the appropriate WCB manager to gain their perspective and discuss options for resolution. The Fair Practices Officer can provide the manager with their recommendations for resolution. The recommendations of the Officer are not binding. If the issue(s) continues to remain unresolved, the FPO can raise the issue with executive management and if unable to find resolution at that level can raise the issue(s) with the Board of Directors. Raising issue(s) beyond WCB management, however, is usually not necessary because the majority of matters are resolved with WCB staff and managers.
Contact the FPO:
Toll free: 1.888.787.8651
Read the Fair Practices Office brochure. (PDF)
A report of the FPO’s activities can be found in the WCB Annual Report.