Workers’ compensation protects both employers and workers from the results of workplace injuries. No matter who is responsible for a workplace injury, the worker receives benefits and the employer is protected against lawsuits.
Who is automatically covered by workers’ compensation?
- All workers in mandatory industries are covered, no matter how old they are.
- Directors that report employment income on a Canada Revenue Agency T4 income tax slip.
Who is not covered automatically?
- Firms or persons involved in industries listed in The Workers’ Compensation Act Miscellaneous Regulations or section 3 of the Act, and
- Directors not reporting employment income on a T4 slip can choose to purchase personal coverage.
- Owners of a sole proprietorship or partnership and their spouse
Those who are not covered automatically may be able to apply for voluntary coverage or personal coverage.
A director who is not active in the business is not considered a worker in the scope of the Act and coverage is not required. An inactive director is someone who does not perform any duties relating to the day-to-day operations of the corporation.
Optional personal coverage is for individuals not automatically covered under The Workers’ Compensation Act, 2013 (the Act). When personal coverage is purchased, the applicant becomes a worker and is eligible for benefits under the Act. Wage loss benefits will be based on the amount of coverage purchased by the applicant.
Optional personal coverage may be purchased by:
- Owners and their spouses;
- Partners and their spouses; and
- Directors that do not receive a Canada Revenue Agency T4 income tax slip.
Optional Personal Coverage (OPC) may be purchased for any amount between the minimum personal coverage amount and the maximum assessable wage rate for the current year. The 2019 amounts are: minimum $23,005 and maximum $88,314. The amount of coverage purchased should reflect actual employment earnings.
In the event of an injury, you will be required to provide proof of earnings. If your proof of earnings is less than the amount of coverage you have purchased, we will reduce your coverage to the confirmed amount. We will not give you a refund on your premiums so please make sure you choose an amount that is no more than your actual earnings.
For more information on coverage and how to apply see our fact sheet.
Saskatchewan WCB insurance coverage generally applies when you send your Saskatchewan workers to other provinces to work. However, you must contact the WCB Employer Services departments in those provinces to find out if you need to register with them (see our brochure, Coverage for Saskatchewan Employers Operating out-of-Province/Country).
For workers coming into Saskatchewan
If you’re an employer from another province or country with workers doing work in Saskatchewan, contact Employer Services to find out if you have to register (see our brochure Coverage for Out-of-Province Employers Operating in Saskatchewan).
Are you paying someone who’s not on your payroll?
Did you know that you are required to report any person or business that you hire to perform work or services in Saskatchewan to the WCB? The WCB defines these as workers and contractors of your business.
All hired contractors, whether registered with the WCB or not, must be reported. If the contractor is registered and in good standing, they will be removed from your WCB assessment. Contractors are present in all industries. A contract does not have to be a formal written agreement, and may include a verbal agreement to provide labour or services for an agreed amount. An invoice is considered to be a contract.
Examples of contractors:
Restaurants: Individuals or businesses that clean the range hood, dishwasher, refrigeration systems, install/maintain/repair the fire suppression system or perform any other repairs or maintenance of the equipment, building or property etc.
Offices: Individuals or businesses that provide garbage or recyclable removal services, lawn maintenance or snow removal services, plumbing or electrical services, cleaners/janitors, or any other repair or maintenance to the equipment, building or property.
Health care providers or clinics: Therapists and other health care professionals, lawn maintenance or snow removal services, plumbers, electricians, cleaners/janitors, etc.
Supply only contracts – If a contractor only supplies materials, this is considered a supply only contract. These amounts should not be reported.
Example: Windows are delivered as part of a purchase, but no installation is done by the supplier.
Do you have more questions on hiring and reporting contractors? Click below to view some of our most frequently asked questions.
A contractor is a person or business hired under contract by another person or business to perform work or services. A contractor is also referred to as a subcontractor.
A principal is a person or business who hires a contractor to perform work or services.
Yes. All workers, including contractors, must be reported to the WCB.
Request a Clearance. For more information on Clearances, please refer to our fact sheet on Clearances for Contract Workers.
On your annual Employer Payroll Statement (EPS). All contractors hired in the prior year, where a Clearance letter was not obtained, must be entered in section 4 of your EPS.
A contractor is considered your worker when at the time the work was performed the contractor was not an employer, did not have an active WCB account and was hired and paid to provide a service within a Saskatchewan WCB mandatory industry.
You may request a Letter of Good Standing prior to hiring a contractor. When the work is complete, you must request a Clearance prior to paying the contractor. In both cases, there will be a “deemed” status if the person or business is your worker. Premiums due will be based on the labour portion of the contract.
A Clearance letter is a legal document that gives you, the employer, permission to pay a contractor for completed work. A Clearance protects you from having to pay any overdue premiums the contractor owes to the WCB. For more information, please see our fact sheet on Clearances for Contract Work.
A Letter of Good Standing is requested before a contract begins. It tells you if a contractor has a WCB account and if their status with the WCB is in good standing. It is only valid for the day it was requested.
A Clearance is requested prior to payment.
The contractor may be eligible for their own WCB account when they can prove that they work for multiple customers. This coverage is called Optional Personal Coverage (OPC).
You do not have to report contractors who are excluded under The Workers’ Compensation Miscellaneous Regulations or under section 3 of the The Workers’ Compensation Act, 2013 (the Act).
If the labour portion of the contract is unknown, the WCB will use its policy, Assessable Labour Portion of Contracts (POL 07/2004), to calculate the labour portion. To ensure an accurate assessment, please let the WCB know if the contractor used their own tools, equipment and/or material, and provide a detailed description of the work. For more information, please refer to our fact sheet, Reporting Assessable Earnings.
Maximum assessable earnings is the maximum assessable wage rate per worker allowed by the WCB each year. For example, in 2019, the maximum amount per person is $88,314. You must only report the total gross earnings per person up to the maximum for each year. Please see our maximum assessable earnings page for further information.
In most cases, you cannot deduct WCB premiums from your contractor. Section 164 of The Workers’ Compensation Act, 2013 states that you cannot deduct to offset against WCB premiums. However, an employer is allowed to deduct WCB premiums, if the contractor provides heavy equipment, such as a bulldozer, as part of the contract. As per Section 8 of the Act and POL 02/2011 Coverage – Contracts Involving Equipment.
Out-of-province employers who are awarded a contract for work in a mandatory Saskatchewan industry may be subject to the Workers’ Compensation Act, 2013.
You are required to register with the Saskatchewan Workers’ Compensation Board if you:
- Have established a place of business in Saskatchewan, or
- Employ Saskatchewan-resident workers.
Even where neither of these conditions apply, you will still be required to register if your workers come into the province:
- 3 or more times per year, or
- 5 or more consecutive days per year.
Out-of-province contractors must be reported to the WCB and will be deemed as your employee if they do not have an active WCB account that is in good standing.
For more information, please see our brochure Coverage for Out-of-Province Employers.
POL 22/2014 Employer Accounts – Clearances and Letters of Good Standing
POL 02/2011 Coverage – Contracts Involving Equipment
POL 05/2018 Maximum Assessable Wage Rate – 2019
POL 07/2002 Coverage within Saskatchewan – Out-of-Province Employers
POL 07/2004 Assessable Labour Portion of Contracts
POL 09/2011 Failure to Register a Business
POL 07/2011 Minimum Annual Assessment
POL 08/1999 Coverage – Out-of-Province/Country
POL 15/2000 Coverage – Independent Worker
POL 24/2010 Assessable Earnings
Act Sec. 2(1)(l), 2(1)(ii), 3, 4, 5, 8, 20, 32(1), 37, 43, 116, 119, 121, 122, 123, 124, 131, 132, 134, 137, 139, 148, 152, 153, 158(1), 158(2), 164; The Workers’ Compensation General Regulations 3, 4, 5, 8, 12 and 14(1);