The Saskatchewan Workers’ Compensation Board (WCB) today proposed a 3.3 percent drop to its 2014 average premium rate, from $1.51 to $1.46 per hundred dollars of payroll. The announcement was made today in Regina at a WCB Rate Setting consultation meeting with Saskatchewan business and labour leaders.
The rate reduction is the eighth straight drop to the average premium rate and the lowest rate proposal since 1986. Saskatchewan’s preliminary 2015 average employer premium is 28.8 percent below the twelve year high of $2.05 in 2004. The 2015 rate proposal means that Saskatchewan could have the fourth lowest average premium rate in Canada next year.
WCB Chairperson, Gordon Dobrowolsky explained the proposed reduction is largely driven by growth in payroll within Saskatchewan. Better safety performance records in 33 of 50 industry rate codes are expected to result in lower 2015 premium rates for 37,060 of Saskatchewan’s 47,069 employers.
“This reflects the direct impact injury prevention has on premium rates. In a very real sense, Saskatchewan employers and workers earned the 2015 rate reduction by preventing injuries and through return to work programs that can shorten the duration of an injury.”
With the 2015 rate proposal:
- Premiums for 37,060 employers in 33 rate codes will drop. This represents 79 percent of employers registered with the WCB. The decreases range from 0.5 to 14.5 percent. The average decrease is 5.4 percent.
- Premiums for 5,066 employers in 12 rate codes will increase next year. This represents 11 percent of registered employers. All increases are under 10.5 percent. The average increase is 3.9 percent.
- Premiums for employers in five rate codes remain the same.
- For the third consecutive year, no industry rate code has increases over 10.5 percent.
The 2015 rate proposal will be presented to business leaders at 17 meetings scheduled for this week in Regina and Saskatoon. For the first time, the rate setting consultation session was live streamed via webcast for employers unable to attend in person. Information presented at the Regina sessions will be made available on the WCB website.
The meetings also included messages about workplace safety and injury prevention, WCB CEO Peter Federko said.
“In 2013, 86 percent of Saskatchewan employers achieved Mission: Zero. There were over 38,000 workplaces with zero workplace injuries,” Federko explained. “This premium rate reduction is a direct result of fewer injuries, growing payroll and effective return-to-work programs. However, trends can quickly become reversed. While our total injury rate continues to decline, we are forecasting a slight increase in time loss claims in 2014. This is a good reminder that, while premium rates are declining, we cannot become complacent when it comes to injury prevention.”