Committee of Review report and recommendations

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Find out what a WCB Committee of Review is, who is represented on the committee and read updates regarding the committee’s reports.

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The Saskatchewan government establishes a WCB Committee of Review every five years. Our principal customers – workers and employers – are represented on each committee. The committee may inquire into any and all aspects of the WCB’s operations. The committee can recommend amendments to legislation, or changes to the WCB’s policies or practices.

Information and updates regarding Committee of Review reports are included in our annual report each year.

The most recent Committee of Review report was released in 2016.

2015 Committee of Review

The 2015 Committee of Review received more than 70 written submissions and hosted public consultations in Saskatoon, North Battleford, Prince Albert, Yorkton and Regina. The Workers’ Compensation Act Committee of Review 2016 Report is based on those public consultations.

The 2016 committee report made these 11 recommendations:

  1. Culture and customer service: Focus on corporate culture and develop a customer-centric service delivery model.

Status: The WCB’s culture and customer service excellence is being addressed as part of the WCB’s continuous process improvement effort and through the strategy deployment system, which is aligning efforts to our vision and mission.

  1. Board structure and governance: Modernize board structure to reflect the diversity of skill sets required to guide the work of the Workers’ Compensation Board (WCB).

Status: In December 2018, the Minister proposed an increase in the number of members of the Workers’ Compensation Board. Once appointed, the WCB will consist of up to seven board members:

  • one full-time chairperson
  • two full-time members (one representing workers and one representing employers)
  • up to four part-time members (two representing workers and two representing employers)

The change to our board is in response to a recommendation from the Workers’ Compensation Act Committee of Review made in 2016. Further public consultations in 2017 identified a general consensus that stakeholders would support an expansion of the board.

  1. Appeals: Significantly reduce the average number of days to arrive at a decision and communicate clearly with appellants throughout the process.

Status: The appeals process is being reviewed as part of the WCB’s continuous process improvement effort. Since 2015, Board Appeal Tribunal appeal wait times have decreased by 56 per cent. The WCB is reviewing processes to improve the days to appeal decision and to improve appellant communications throughout the process.

  1. Psychological injury: Strengthen the psychological injury policy regarding post-traumatic stress disorder and mental health coverage for Saskatchewan workers.

Status: Psychological injury claims were addressed in 2016 with an amendment to The Workers’ Compensation Act, 2013 (the Act) to establish a rebuttable presumption for workers experiencing psychological injuries caused by workplace trauma. In 2019, the WCB developed a specialized unit focused on adjudicating and managing psychological injury claims.

  1. Fatality service specialists: Assign fatality service specialists to assist individuals and families affected by workplace fatalities and minimize the number of caseworkers per claim.

Status: The WCB’s extended services department was established in 2016. Three staff currently manage fatality, cancer-related and catastrophic injury claims.

  1. Co-ordination of benefits: Co-ordinate benefits between the WCB and SGI to ensure that no worker is disadvantaged in the event of a work-related motor vehicle accident.

Status: This recommendation has been reviewed and may require legislative change.

  1. Privacy policy: Repeal sections 173 and 174 of The Workers’ Compensation Act, 2013 to comply with the provisions of The Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act and update the WCB’s privacy policy to align with the changes.

Status: Sections 173 and 174 were not repealed. FOIP was amended instead. The provision in section 173 of our Act stating that the worker can only use their file for the purposes of an appeal was removed from this section.

  1. Employer Resource Centre: Establish an Employer Resource Centre, co-ordinated through the Office of the Workers’ Advocate, dedicated to helping employers navigate the workers’ compensation system.

Status: An Employer Resource Centre working group convened in mid-2018 to investigate the gaps in supports for employers navigating the workers’ compensation system. The Employer Resource Centre was established in September 2019. Contact the Employer Resource Centre here.

  1. Communication and surplus: Increase transparency and awareness so that the public understands the application of the surplus in the funding policy.

Status: This recommendation is being addressed as part of the WCB’s continuous process improvement effort.

  1. Rate review and standard discount: Ensure best practices are fair and equitable for all employers and not excessively punitive for small employers.

Status: Planning will begin for the next Experience Rate Review Stakeholder Committee, which meets every three to five years to recommend changes to the Experience Rating Program.

  1. Review implementation and oversight: Strengthen ongoing communication with stakeholders regarding Committee of Review recommendations and implementation.

Status: This recommendation will be addressed through the development of a WCB communication process.