Information for employers on COVID-19
All WCB offices are closed to the public to avoid the spread of COVID-19. To contact the WCB’s employer services department about your employer account, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 1.800.667.7590.
The following information is to assist employers in determining their responsibilities during the COVID-19 pandemic. We understand that you have many questions surrounding coverage, reporting responsibilities and process. Most instances of COVID-19 are not work-related and do not need to be reported to the Saskatchewan Workers’ Compensation Board (WCB). However, there are some exceptions. Claims submitted for COVID-19 contracted through a work-related exposure are adjudicated on a case-by-case basis.
- There is confirmed exposure to the disease in the workplace.
- The time period that the illness is contracted is in close proximity to the confirmed workplace exposure.
- The nature of employment creates a greater risk of exposure for the worker than to the general population.
Acute care hospital worker: A worker providing treatment to patients for COVID-19. As this worker is at greater risk than the general public, they may have an acceptable claim.
Retail worker: A worker, working with the general public, interacts with a customer who has been confirmed as having contracted COVID-19, may have an acceptable claim.
COVID-19 – questions and answers
Q. My employee cannot start or continue their return-to-work program because I had to close my business or I had to reduce my staff because of COVID-19. Will my employee lose their benefits?
A. No. Your employee’s benefits will continue if their return-to-work program has been interrupted due to COVID-19. However, their benefits will not continue beyond their scheduled full time return to work date or recovery from the work injury. Cost relief may be applied for the period of interruption. Read WCB policy, COVID-19 Response – Benefits When a Return to Work (RTW) Plan is Interrupted (ADM POL 03/2020).
Q. Will my business be provided cost relief because my employees recovery is delayed due to COVID-19?
A. Yes. Cost relief will be provided to you from the effective date the WCB determines that your employee’s recovery or treatment program was interrupted. Cost relief will continue until the treatment plan is restarted or the WCB determines that the worker has, or should have, made a recovery from their injury, whichever comes first. Read WCB policy, COVID-19 Response – Cost Relief (ADM POL 04/2020).
Q. When should a case of COVID-19 be reported to the WCB?
A. If a situation meets the criteria listed above, such as a worker who is at greater risk of contracting the virus than the general public, and they lose time from work after contracting the virus, a claim should be submitted. If the claims is accepted as a confirmed work-related COVID-19 claim, you will receive cost relief for all costs associated with the claim. Read WCB policy, COVID-19 Response – Cost Relief (ADM POL 04/2020).
Q. Should a claim be submitted if a staff member believes they have contracted COVID-19 from a co-worker?
A.Yes, however as COVID-19 can be transmitted through contact in the community, workplace or home, non-workplace exposures would need to be assessed and ruled-out.
Q. As an employer of health care professionals, or other employment that I believe exposes my staff to greater risk than the general public, should I report all exposures?
A. No. Only time-loss cases need to be reported to Saskatchewan-WCB. If a worker is exposed to the virus, but does not develop any symptoms, the incident should be recorded for your internal records, but no claim needs to be filed.
Q. My staff is at higher risk of exposure, than the general public, so I have sent them home for precautionary reasons. Do I need to report this to WCB?
A. No. If there is no illness, there is no claim, and therefore no requirement to report to WCB.
Q. What happens when I submit a COVID-19 claim?
A. Like any other claim, the WCB will adjudicate based on the specific merits of this claim. We will determine whether exposure to the virus arose out of the course of employment, and was caused by an employment hazard. If a claim is accepted, coverage will be extended for medical aid and lost wages.
Q. Where can employers find more information on infectious disease claims?
A. Read the WCB policy, Injuries – Communicable Disease (POL 02/2010).
COVID-19 and the workplace
The WCB continues to monitor the impact in Saskatchewan of COVID-19. Our top priority is the health of all our staff, customers and our partners and as such, we follow the guidance of public health officials both provincially and federally on precautionary steps to ensure everyone’s well-being.
Please follow Saskatchewan government guidelines to protect yourself and your family.
The WCB is practicing social distancing and utilizing technology to communicate with our customers to avoid all unnecessary in-person meetings whenever possible.
Questions and answers about COVID‐19 leaves in the workplace
We know that as employers are making decisions about how best to ensure the health and safety of workers and of citizens they serve there are a number of questions that have arisen. The Government of Saskatchewan has developed some questions and answers to assist employers and employees at this time. For more information click here.