REGINA, SK – The Saskatchewan Workers’ Compensation Board (WCB) approved the 2017 average employer premium rate for 48,357 employers covered by workers’ compensation. Employer premium rates have dropped from the 2016 average rate of $1.34 to $1.24, which is a 7.5 per cent decrease.
WCB Chairperson Gord Dobrowolsky said, “Our 2017 average premium rate is the lowest rate in over thirty years and makes us the third lowest in the country. This is good news. However, our goal is not to have the lowest premium rates. Our goal is to remain fully funded in order to protect employers and meet the needs of the injured workers we serve in the event of the tragedy of a workplace injury or fatality.”
Dobrowolsky said that the decreases in the 2017 rates range from 1.8 per cent to 18.6 per cent. For the employers in these 43 rate codes, the average decrease is 7.6 per cent. He noted there will be no change in the average premium rate for 2,367 employers in four industry rate codes.
WCB’s CEO Peter Federko said he attributes the rate decrease for 45,778 employers to better safety performance records in their 43 industry rate codes.
“Last year, 87 per cent of employers achieved Mission: Zero – Zero workplace injuries. But next year, 212 employers will face higher rates because of worsening safety performance.” Federko said, “Making every workplace in the province a safe place is what we need to achieve. We are committed to Mission: Zero because even one injury is one too many. One unsafe workplace is one too many.”
For employers who implement successful safety programs and who maintain injury-free work places, there is a financial gain. Under the WCB’s Experience Rating program, employers with above-par safety records earn premium discounts while employers with poor safety records pay a surcharge.
All Saskatchewan employers will receive letters this week with the specifics of their 2017 premium rate.
In addition to this year’s rate setting process, the WCB is holding education sessions on the Rate Model review which was conducted by an external actuary earlier in the year. The education sessions being held around the province are meant to educate employers and the public about changes to the current rate model which the Board has approved and will put into effect in 2018.
“The Board is holding these education sessions to make employers aware of what the impacts of the enhancements to the rate model will mean to them,” Federko said.
The WCB will wrap up its Rate Model review sessions on December 14 and will be holding industry-specific sessions early in the new year for employers. Those interested in participating in the current educations sessions can still register on the WCB’s website at www.wcbsask.com. Registration for the industry-specific sessions will open in mid-January.
About the WCB:
The Saskatchewan Workers’ Compensation Board is a provincial statutory agency governed by a Board of Directors and is funded by employers. Saskatchewan’s workers’ compensation system was adopted in 1930. At that time, the Workmen’s Compensation Act made into law what is known as the historic compromise: employers became collectively liable for workers’ compensation costs and, in return, workers waived their right to sue for work injury. Visit www.wcbsask.com for more detail on rate setting and other WCB initiatives.
Carolyn Van der Veen – WCB Director, Communications
Mission: Zero is an initiative to eliminate workplace injuries in Saskatchewan. Launched at the WCB’s 2008 Annual General Meeting, the Mission: Zero campaign and programs drive home the impact of work injuries and the importance of workplace safety and injury prevention. The intent behind Mission: Zero is to bring about faster and deeper reductions to the provincial workplace injury rate.