Frequently asked questions for employers on COVID-19

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Reporting a case of COVID-19 to the WCB

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A: The WCB covers work-related COVID-19 claims if a worker contracts COVID-19 and there is a confirmed link between the worker’s exposure and their employment. Based on WCB policy, Injuries – Communicable Diseases (POL 02/2010), the following conditions must be met:

  • 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 for the general population.


If a worker is required to seek medical care or is medically required to miss work due to contracting COVID-19 from a workplace exposure which put them at greater risk than the general public, a claim should be submitted.

WCB injury claims submitted for work-related COVID-19 exposures are adjudicated on a case-by-case basis.

Evidence is required to confirm a link between the worker’s exposure and their employment activities, along with evidence of a COVID-19 diagnosis.

Each injury claim will be assessed on its own merits with consideration to relevant medical information, including a medical diagnosis, the nature of the occupation and the extent of exposure. Information from both the worker and the employer is gathered to confirm the injury and the source of exposure. The WCB gathers information from you, the worker and the worker’s health-care providers to confirm the injury and the source of exposure.

If the injury is accepted as a confirmed work-related COVID-19 claim with an injury date prior to July 1, 2022 you will receive cost relief for costs associated with the claim. Read the WCB’s policy COVID-19 Response – Cost Relief (ADM POL 04/2020). The WCB will conclude providing COVID-19 cost relief for employers with accepted COVID-19 workplace injuries that occur on or after July 1, 2022.

A: Like any other claim, the WCB will adjudicate each claim on a case-by-case basis. Each injury claim will be assessed on its own merits with consideration to relevant medical information. This includes a medical diagnosis, the nature of the occupation and the extent of exposure. The WCB must determine whether the worker’s exposure to the virus has a sole link to their employment. The WCB gathers information from the worker and the employer to confirm the injury and the source of exposure. If a claim is accepted, coverage will be extended for medical aid and lost wages.

If you have a worker that you suspect contracted COVID-19 through a sole link to employment, the WCB encourages you to advise your worker to seek a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test or a rapid antigen test through a local community provider and contact the WCB to initiate the injury claim process.

The WCB does not want access to testing to become a barrier to a worker’s entitlement. There are community providers in the province that offer PCR tests and rapid antigen tests for those who need them for non-health purposes, such as travel, or to confirm a COVID-19 diagnosis for the WCB or insurance claim purposes.

The WCB may reimburse private test expenses if a workplace exposure is under review or is proven to be linked to the workplace.

A: If a worker suspects that they contracted COVID-19 through a sole link to employment and have received a positive self-administered rapid antigen test, the WCB encourages the worker to seek a PCR test or a rapid antigen test through a local community provider and contact the WCB to initiate the injury claim process.

The WCB does not want access to testing to become a barrier to a worker’s entitlement. There are community providers in the province that offer PCR tests and rapid antigen tests for those who need them for non-health purposes, such as travel, or to confirm a COVID-19 diagnosis for the WCB or insurance claim purposes.

The WCB may reimburse private test expenses if a workplace exposure is under review or is proven to be linked to the workplace.

All employers have legal obligations if a worker believes they contracted COVID-19 at work:

  1. Make sure the worker gets the medical attention they need immediately, if needed, and obtains a PCR test or a rapid antigen test through a local community provider.
  2. Once you are aware of a work-related injury that requires medical attention, you must report it to the WCB within five days by submitting the Employer’s Report of Injury (E1) form.

Learn more about how to report a work injury

Please contact the WCB if you have questions.

A: The WCB does not want access to testing to become a barrier to a worker’s entitlement. There are community providers in the province that offer PCR tests and rapid antigen tests for those who need them for non-health purposes, such as travel, or to confirm a COVID-19 diagnosis for the WCB or insurance claim purposes.

The WCB may reimburse private test expenses if a workplace exposure is under review or is proven to be linked to the workplace.

The WCB works with the worker, employer and health-care providers to confirm the diagnosis and if the infection was work-related.

A: Yes. The WCB covers work-related COVID-19 claims if they contract COVID-19 and there is a confirmed link between the worker’s exposure and their employment. Not having a PCR test does not mean the claim will be automatically denied. The WCB reviews the full circumstances of each claim and while a PCR test or a rapid antigen test through a local community provider is preferred, the WCB would work with the worker to determine appropriate next steps.

The WCB does not want access to testing to become a barrier to a worker’s entitlement. There are community providers in the province that offer PCR tests and rapid antigen tests for those who need them for non-health purposes, such as travel, or to confirm a COVID-19 diagnosis for the WCB or insurance claim purposes.

The WCB may reimburse private test expenses if a workplace exposure is under review or is proven to be linked to the workplace.

The WCB works with the worker, employer and health-care providers to confirm the diagnosis and if the infection was work-related.

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. Proving a sole connection between COVID-19 and the workplace may become more challenging due to high levels of community transmission.

A: No. You only need to report time-loss cases to the WCB. If a worker is exposed to the virus, but does not develop any symptoms, you should record the incident for your internal records, but you don’t need to file a claim.

A: No. If there is no illness, there is no claim and therefore no requirement to report to the WCB.

A: The WCB will conclude providing COVID-19 cost relief for employers with accepted COVID-19 workplace injuries that occur on or after July 1, 2022. Accepted COVID-19 workplace injuries that occur prior to July 1, 2022 will still be eligible for cost relief.

If cost relief is applied after costs have been charged, the claim’s costs will initially show on your experience reports, but will be removed (that is, credited). These claims will no longer show up on advanced or standard program experience rate statements. This will not impact your experience rating.

A: The WCB provides no-fault insurance and claims are adjudicated on a case-by-case basis. The procedure is the same for adjudicating claims for vaccinated and unvaccinated workers. There would still be a need to confirm the diagnosis and take steps to determine whether the COVID-19 exposure has a sole link to employment.

A: The WCB provides no-fault insurance and claims are adjudicated on a case-by-case basis. At this time, the procedure is the same for adjudicating claims whether or not a person followed public health recommendations.

There would still be a need to confirm the diagnosis and take steps to determine whether the exposure occurred in the workplace.

A: Like any other claim, the Saskatchewan WCB will adjudicate based on the specific merits of a worker’s claim. The WCB must determine whether the worker contracted COVID-19 through a sole link to employment. A pre-existing condition does not automatically mean that a WCB claim would not be accepted.

A: Read the WCB’s policy and procedures Communicable Diseases (POL 02/2010 and PRO 02/2010), and procedure Communicable Diseases - Adverse Reactions to Immunization (PRO 08/2021) for more information.

Cost relief for accepted COVID-19 claims

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A: For more than two years in 2020, through 2021 and through the first six months of 2022, the Saskatchewan Workers’ Compensation Board (WCB) provided cost relief for employers with accepted COVID-19 claims. The WCB will conclude providing COVID-19 cost relief for employers with accepted COVID-19 workplace injuries that occur on or after July 1, 2022. Accepted COVID-19 workplace injuries that occur prior to July 1, 2022 will still be eligible for cost relief.

The WCB has implemented relief measures for employers and workers since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, including providing cost relief for employers. For claims that occurred from 2020 to May 10, 2022, the WCB has provided more than $7.5 million in cost relief for COVID-19 injury claims. The cost relief is funded through the WCB’s occupational disease reserve as a temporary measure to aid Saskatchewan employers.

For accepted COVID-19 workplace injury claims that occur prior to July 1, 2022, the WCB will utilize its occupational disease reserve so that these COVID-19 claims do not affect the specific employer’s experience rating.

A: The WCB will cover employer costs for accepted COVID-19 claims that occur between March 1, 2020 and June 30, 2022. Workers will receive the support they need and the costs that employers would have been assigned will be covered through the WCB’s occupational disease reserve. This reserve is being used to address the unanticipated negative impact of the COVID-19 virus and the costs that result from any COVID-19 workplace claims. The WCB will conclude providing COVID-19 cost relief for employers with accepted COVID-19 workplace injuries that occur on or after July 1, 2022. Accepted COVID-19 workplace injuries that occur prior to July 1, 2022 will still be eligible for cost relief.

In Saskatchewan, the WCB is legislated under The Workers’ Compensation Act, 2013 (the Act) to maintain an injury fund sufficient to finance current and future injured worker claims, including earnings loss, physical and vocational rehabilitation, prevention initiatives and other obligations under the Act. Depending on the final costs of COVID-19 injury claims paid from the occupational disease reserve, the WCB may be required to increase future premium rates to maintain its fully funded status.

A: The WCB will remove the costs associated with COVID-19 claims registered with the WCB between March 1, 2020 and June 30, 2022. As there will be no claim costs to employers, the claim is essentially removed from your WCB account but still remains in the WCB system, so workers receive the support they need.

Because these claims must remain in the system, they can have an impact on the rate model, as the model predicts future claim costs based on past claim costs. The COVID-19 claim costs are paid for out of WCB reserves. According to the WCB’s funding policy, it is required to have five per cent to 20 per cent of liabilities in reserve. This means the WCB has an injury fund that includes 100 per cent of liabilities plus five per cent to 20 per cent of reserves to account for negative events such as disasters and investment downturns.

Therefore, the WCB must always be 105 per cent to 120 per cent fully funded. Paying COVID-19 claims from the reserves moves the WCB close to the 105 per cent funded range. If the WCB goes below the 105 per cent funded range, then it may have to increase premiums in order to be considered fully funded.

A: For more than two years in 2020, through 2021 and through the first six months of 2022, the Saskatchewan Workers’ Compensation Board (WCB) provided cost relief for employers with accepted COVID-19 claims.

The WCB has implemented relief measures for employers and workers since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, including providing cost relief for employers. For claims that occurred from 2020 to May 10, 2022, the WCB has provided more than $7.5 million in cost relief for COVID-19 injury claims. The cost relief is funded through the WCB’s occupational disease reserve as a temporary measure to aid Saskatchewan employers.

As the pandemic has evolved, claims related to COVID-19 exposures in the workplace have started to taper off. At the same time, high vaccination rates and effective risk management by employers have helped to limit the time lost to COVID-19 and the resulting costs.

The number of COVID-19 claims requiring workers to be away from work for more than 10 days has dropped significantly, from 41.9 per cent of claims in 2021 to 24.5 per cent of claims in the first part of 2022.

A: Once cost relief for COVID-19 claims ends, costs associated with COVID-19 claims will be used to calculate experience rating and may result in higher premiums.

A: The amount of cost relief granted on claim costs will be credited to your claim cost experience (experience rating) automatically in the year in which cost relief was granted. This credit will adjust the total claim costs in that year and may be used to calculate your experience rating in the future.

The amount of cost relief granted on a claim will not be credited as a refund, but instead will be incorporated into the calculation for your experience rating.

The impact cost relief might have on your premium rate depends on whether you have your firm rate calculated under the Standard Experience Rating Program or Advanced Experience Rating Program.

The Standard Program is based on the number of Time Loss claims within the three-year evaluation window. Under this program, claim costs are not used in the calculation of your experience rate.

The Advanced Program is based on claim costs within the three calendar years prior to the year in which rates are being set. The annual cost of a claim, up to the maximum assessable wage rate, is used in the calculation of your experience rate.

For access to your five-year claim cost reports and premium rate history with the WCB, log into your WCB online account. If you do not have an online account, please sign up here.

If you need more information, please contact the Employer Resource Centre:

Email: ERC@wcbsask.com

Phone: 1.833.961.0042

A: Because COVID-19 falls under the WCB’s communicable diseases policy and procedures, the Saskatchewan WCB will continue to cover eligible work-related COVID-19 claims.

A worker may be entitled to WCB benefits and have an acceptable claim if they contract COVID-19 and there is a confirmed link between the worker’s exposure and their employment. Based on the WCB policy, Injuries – Communicable Diseases (POL 02/2010), the following conditions must be met:

  • There is confirmed exposure to the disease in the workplace.
    PLUS
  • The time period that the illness is contracted is in close proximity to the confirmed workplace exposure.
    PLUS
  • The nature of employment creates a greater risk of exposure for the worker than to the general population.

Providing cost relief would not impact whether a COVID-19 workplace injury claim is accepted.

A: Your employee may receive earnings loss benefits for a period of up to four weeks if their own COVID-19 positive diagnosis delays their recovery. You will receive cost relief of any costs associated with that maximum four-week period. Read the WCB’s policy Suspension of Benefits (POL 10/2021) for more information.

Cost relief for adverse reactions to compulsory COVID-19 vaccination

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A: If an employer requires their workers to be vaccinated against COVID-19 as a condition of employment or as a condition of continued employment, and the worker has a reaction to the vaccination that requires them to seek medical care or miss time from work, it may be considered a work-related injury and the employer should submit an injury claim with the WCB.

Examples of situations when it might be considered a compulsory requirement or condition of employment include, but are not limited to:

  • The employer advises the worker that they cannot work unless they have the vaccination.
  • The worker is required to be vaccinated or must provide proof of negative COVID-19 test results that are either employee-funded or obtained outside of work hours, as directed through employer policy, the employer’s human resource guidelines, employment contracts or collective bargaining agreements.
  • It is communicated and/or understood by the worker that refusing a vaccine could result in changes to their hours of work, location work or nature of job duties, and that they will be unable to access available extra shifts or duties.

As another measure to support workers and employers, the WCB is temporarily offering cost relief to cover all claim costs for accepted adverse reaction injury claims to COVID-19 vaccinations if an employer requires workers to be vaccinated against COVID-19.

Accepted adverse reaction COVID-19 vaccination workplace injuries that occur from Dec. 1, 2020 to Dec. 31, 2022 will be eligible for cost relief for claim costs. During this temporary period, these claims will not require a link to a pre-existing condition as would normally be required.

A: Accepted adverse reaction COVID-19 vaccination workplace injuries that occur from Dec. 1, 2020 to Dec. 31, 2022 will be eligible for cost relief for claim costs. During this temporary period, these claims will not require a link to a pre-existing condition as would normally be required.

Accepted adverse reaction injury claims that occur on or after Jan. 1, 2023 will not be eligible for cost relief unless there is evidence that a compulsory vaccination caused an injury only because of a worker’s pre-existing condition.

A: To continue supporting employers, the WCB is providing cost relief for COVID-19 vaccination adverse reaction injury claims for employers who have, or are planning to, make COVID-19 vaccinations compulsory in the workplace. These associated claim costs will not affect the employer’s experience rating.

Accepted adverse reaction COVID-19 vaccination workplace injuries that occur from Dec. 1, 2020 to Dec. 31, 2022 will be eligible for cost relief for claim costs. During this temporary period, these claims will not require a link to a pre-existing condition as would normally be required.

Accepted adverse reaction injury claims that occur on or after Jan. 1, 2023 will not be eligible for cost relief, unless there is evidence that a compulsory vaccination caused an injury only because of a worker’s pre-existing condition.

A: Yes. As COVID-19 vaccines were first available in Canada in December 2020, the WCB’s Compulsory COVID-19 Vaccination – Adverse Reaction Policy (POL 07/2021) is effective Dec. 1, 2020 to make sure all employers who required COVID-19 vaccinations will receive cost relief for accepted adverse reaction claims resulting from a compulsory COVID-19 vaccination.

A: For more than two years in 2020, through 2021 and through the first six months of 2022, the Saskatchewan Workers’ Compensation Board (WCB) provided cost relief for employers with accepted COVID-19 claims. The WCB will conclude providing cost relief for employers with accepted COVID-19 workplace injuries that occur on or after July 1, 2022. Accepted COVID-19 workplace injuries that occur prior to July 1, 2022 are still eligible for cost relief.

As another measure to support employers, the WCB is temporarily offering cost relief to cover all claim costs for accepted adverse reaction injury claims to COVID-19 vaccinations if an employer requires workers to be vaccinated against COVID-19. Accepted adverse reaction COVID-19 vaccination workplace injuries that occur from Dec. 1, 2020 to Dec. 31, 2022 will be eligible for cost relief for claim costs through the occupational disease reserve.

Read the WCB’s policy and procedures Communicable Diseases (POL 02/2010 and PRO 02/2010), and procedure Communicable Diseases - Adverse Reactions to Immunization (PRO 08/2021) for more information.

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COVID-19 and the workplace

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The WCB continues to shift its approach due to the changing nature of the COVID-19 pandemic and has offered support measures for workers and employers throughout the pandemic.

The WCB's 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 government guidelines to protect yourself and your family.