Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Q: How do I know if you got my EPS?
A: If you submitted your EPS online successfully, you will get a confirmation number. You can also log in to your online services account and see if your EPS has been received. If you have faxed your EPS to our office, please keep the confirmation sheet to show it was submitted successfully.
Q: I don’t have any payroll to report or I have closed my business. Do I have to return my EPS?
A: Yes. If you get an EPS, you must return it or you will be charged penalties and personal coverage will be cancelled. If you don’t have payroll or have closed your business, please give us the details on the EPS and return it to our office.
Q: Can I change my payroll estimate after the date on the letter?
A: You can change your payroll estimate at any time. This can be done online, by phone or you can mail or fax the information to us.
Q: When can I get my rates for next year?
A: Rates are set in the fall for the upcoming year. Rate advice packages are sent to employers to let them know their rates.
Q: I got a statement of account but I do not need coverage. What should I do?
A: Please contact our office. If there are changes to your business, you need to contact us.
Q: I hired a new worker. How do I add them to my account?
A: Individual names of workers are not recorded by the WCB. Your payroll estimated should be updated to reflect the additional wages that will be paid to that worker. You can update your payroll estimate online, or you can phone or mail in your revision to our office.
Q: I’m buying a business. Is there anything I need to consider regarding the WCB?
A: Yes, there are two important considerations. Your business should be registered with the WCB. To register your business, please click http://www.wcbsask.com/employers/register-your-business/. If you need help, or have any questions, please call Employer Services at 306.787.8013 or toll free at 1.800.667.7590.
It is also important to make sure the business you are buying is in good standing. This can be done by obtaining a sales clearance prior to the completion of the sale. Failure to do so can result in financial penalties. The clearance can be obtained by contacting Employer Services.
Q: What is the difference between a clearance and a letter of good standing?
A: A letter of good standing is given before the work begins to check if someone has an account. It is only good for the day of issue. The status of a contractor can change at any time. You must get a clearance before paying any contractors. It releases you from having to pay for any amounts not paid on a contractors account.
Q: I have got a clearance and it is a “hold” but the contractor is asking me to pay. What should I do?
A: Do not pay the contractor. Advise them to contact our office. They will get instructions from our office on what to do. Do not pay until you are told by us it is okay to pay.
Q: I got a clearance and the status is “pending”. What does this mean?
A: This does not necessarily mean that anything is wrong with the account. Certain accounts need to be checked by our staff. You will be contacted with more information once we have finished checking the account.
Q: I got a clearance and the status is “deemed”. Can I pay the contractor?
A: Yes. This means the contractor is not registered. You will be responsible to pay the premiums for them. You cannot pass the charges on to the contractor in any way, unless they are hired equipment (eg. a bobcat).
Q: I have sent a demand amount for a clearance. Can I pay the rest of the money to the contractor now?
A: Yes. When you are asked to send outstanding amounts owed to us for a contractor, you can give the rest of the money to the contractor.
Q: Can I deduct premiums from my contractors?
A: No. Section 164 of The Workers’ Compensation Act, 2013 states that you cannot deduct to offset against WCB premiums.
Q: Do I have to report all contractors hired, even though I know they have their own WCB account?
A: Yes. All workers, including contractors, must be reported to the WCB.
Q: How do I calculate the labour portion of a contract?
A: 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.
Q: How do I report my contractors to the WCB?
A: 1. 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.
Q: How do I request a Letter of Good Standing or Clearance?
A: Letters of Good Standing or Clearances can been requested from the WCB Employer Services Department, by phone or email. You may also request them through your WCB Online Account. For more information, please see our fact sheet on Clearances for Contract Work.
Q: How will I know if I have to pay premiums for my contractor?
A: 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.
Q: Is there any case when I can deduct premiums from my contractors?
A: Yes. An employer is only allowed to deduct if the contractor provides heavy equipment, such as a bulldozer, as part of the contract. This is as per section 8 of the Act and POL 02/2011, Coverage – Contracts Involving Equipment.
Q: When a contractor is not an employer, can they get WCB coverage?
A: 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).
Q: What does the maximum assessable earnings mean?
A: 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.
Q: What happens if I hire an out-of-province company/person to perform work?
A: A WCB account is required if the contractor:
- Comes to Saskatchewan to work for five or more consecutive days;
- Works in Saskatchewan three or more times a year;
- Has a place of business in Saskatchewan, and/or;
- Hires Saskatchewan resident workers.
For more information, please see our brochure Coverage for Out-of-Province Employers.
Q: What is the definition of a contractor?
A: 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.
Q: What is the definition of a principal?
A: A principal is a person or business who hires a contractor to perform work or services.
Q: What is the difference between a Letter of Good Standing and a Clearance?
A: 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.
Q: When is a contractor considered as your worker?
A: 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.
Q: Why are Clearances so important?
A: 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.
Q: Who should I not report to the WCB?
A: 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).
Useful Links – Employer Coverage for Contract Workers
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);
Q: Do I have to register for coverage?
A: You must register for coverage if you are hiring workers or contractors in a mandatory industry, as identified in The Workers’ Compensation Act, 2013. Directors that are reporting employment income on a Canada Revenue Agency T4 slip are considered a worker and are required to have WCB coverage. If you don’t have any workers or contractors, you may be eligible for optional personal coverage.
Q: I have my own private insurance. Do I need to register for WCB coverage?
A: The Workers’ Compensation system is a mandatory insurance system. If you meet the requirements to have an account, you must register.
Q: What happens if I don’t register?
A: If you don’t register, you could be charged penalties. You could also be charged with the full cost of a claim and will be required to pay the premiums for the prior year.
Q: When do I need to register?
A: You need to register within 30 days of beginning work or having workers in Saskatchewan.
Q: How much does it cost to register?
A: There is no charge for registering if you are part of a mandatory industry. There is a minimum account fee of $100 per year. Otherwise, your premiums are calculated based on your payroll in the industry you are operating in.
Q: I am working for someone and they said I had to have my own account. Is that true?
A: Not everyone is eligible for their own account. Please contact our office to see if you can get an account. If not, your coverage is given by the company you are working for.
Q: I have hired someone under contract. They said they cannot get an account. What happens now?
A: They are considered your worker and you pay premiums for them. You cannot deduct premiums from them unless they are using their own heavy equipment.
Q: Can I ask my employee to register for an account?
A: No. Employees cannot get their own coverage. You cannot deduct premiums from them unless they are using their own heavy equipment.
Q: I have an account in another province. Will that coverage be enough?
A: Each province has its own legislation so your coverage may not carry over. Please contact us to see if you need to register. If you don’t need to register, you may be considered a worker of the principal you are working for.
Q: I do not hire workers. I only have contractors. Why do I have to have an account?
A: If you hire contractors, you are considered an employer under our Act. You need to get clearances for any contractors you hire. If the contractor is not registered with us, they will be treated as your worker. If all of your contractors are registered and in good standing you are responsible for the minimum account fee.
Q: Who is covered by the WCB?
A: All workers in mandatory industries are covered, no matter how old they are. A director who is reporting employment income on a Canada Revenue Agency T4 slip is considered a worker and is required to have WCB coverage. Contractors working for a principal are covered.
Q: I am a director of a corporation and get a T4 but don’t want coverage. Can I opt out?
A: No. Any firms operating in a mandatory industry that are not registered with the WCB but are reporting employment income on a T4 slip for a director will need to register for coverage.
Q: I am a director and receive a T4 but don’t actually do any work in the business. Do I have to have coverage?
A: No. Inactive directors are not required to have mandatory coverage. An inactive director is someone who does not perform any duties relating to the day-to-day operations of the corporation.
Q: I submitted an online application for a new account. What happens now?
A: Someone from our office will check the application. If we need more information, we will contact you. If we decide that an account is needed, you will be given a statement of account with your firm number in the mail. For mandatory coverage, if you have hired workers, they are covered, even if you do not have a firm number.
Q: I have reopened my business. Do I need to submit another application form?
A: No. You don’t have to submit another form. It is easier to email or phone our office.
Q: I have an account. What responsibilities do I have?
A: Your responsibilities are:
- You must submit your completed Employer Payroll Statement (EPS) by February 28 each year.
- You must pay premiums as requested – generally this is within 30 days of the statement of account being issued and on April 1 and September 1.
- You are expected to keep correct payroll estimates. If you hire more workers/contractors or let workers/contractors go, you should update your payroll estimate. This can be done any time through online services, phone or mail.
- Before paying any contractors, you have to get a clearance.
- Contact our office if there are any changes with your business, such as a change in address, change in ownership, or if you close or sell.
Q: I have closed my business but I want to keep my account open in case I hire another worker. Can I do this?
A: No. If your business is not operating, you don’t need an account. Your account can be reopened if you begin work again.
Q: I am going to another province to work. Am I covered?
A: Each province has its own legislation. You need to contact the WCB office in the province you will be working in to see if you need to register. We will cover only your insurance (wage and medical costs) but can not protect an employer from legal responsibility.
Q: My business has closed. What do I need to do?
A: You should let our office know right away. You can fill out an Account Closure/Sale form or send a letter with the details of the closure. You can also submit Account Closure/Sale form online. We will then close your account. Any balances on your account are due 30 days from when a Statement of Account is sent. If you are due a refund, we will send a cheque. A review may be needed before we will give a refund.
Q: What is my responsibility when I buy a business?
A: You need to obtain a section 156 clearance certificate to release you from any legal responsibility. If you don’t do this and they owe us money, you will become responsible for the outstanding balance.
Q: I have sold or amalgamated my business?
A: You should let our office know right away. You can fill out business restructure/change of ownership form or send a letter with details.