WCB announces proposed changes to 2019 average premium rate

Publish date
Article content

REGINA, SK – The Saskatchewan Workers’ Compensation Board (WCB) is proposing a drop in its 2019 average employer premium rate to $1.17 per hundred dollars of payroll in 2019 from $1.19 in 2018. This represents a 1.7 per cent decrease from 2018 to 2019. This is the 12th consecutive year the rate has dropped. The announcement was made today in Regina at the WCB’s annual rate setting meeting with Saskatchewan employers and stakeholders.

“We’ve been seeing a downward trend for many years and the 2019 rate is no exception. Improved safety records for many industry rate codes have contributed to the proposed 2019 premium rate,” said the WCB’s Board Chairperson, Gord Dobrowolsky. “Our goal as a Board is to maintain a balance between stable rates and a fully-funded compensation system.”

The WCB’s 2019 proposed average premium rate is 43 per cent below the 16-year high of $2.05 in 2004. This represents positive news for Saskatchewan employers and workers, said Dobrowolsky.

2019 reflects complete transition to enhanced rate model

The 2019 proposed premium rate reflects the WCB’s complete transition to the enhanced rate model that was implemented in 2018. The enhanced model was approved in 2017 following an independent actuarial rate model review in 2016.

For 2018 only, to mitigate the impact of the move to the enhanced rate model, the WCB drew from the Injury Fund to help employers in 14 rate codes whose premium rate would increase as a result of moving to the enhanced rate model. For 2019, the premium rate for all rate codes will be calculated under the enhanced model.

The WCB conducted several rate model information and educational sessions in 2016 and 2017, and held additional public education sessions in early 2018 for those employers who will experience the impact of the increase beginning in 2019. Visit WCB's rate model change in 2018 page to learn more about the enhancements to the WCB’s rate model.

With the 2019 rate proposal:

  • Industry premium rates for 42.5 per cent of Saskatchewan’s employers covered by the WCB will see a decrease or no change for 2019. The decreases range from 0.6 per cent to 14.0 per cent.
  • Premium rates for 57.5 per cent of employers will increase next year. The increases range from 1.2 per cent to 17.4 per cent. Of the employers seeing an increase, 54.5 per cent are because of the final transition to the enhanced rate model.

“Preventing workplace injuries impacts more than the health and wellbeing of workers and employers. It influences the rates employers pay,” said WCB’s CEO Peter Federko. “Across the province, we’ve seen employers benefit from their effective injury prevention and return-to-work programs, resulting in lower premium rates. For the past two years, 88 per cent of employers have achieved zero injuries. Despite these improvements, we all need to stay focused and committed to keeping our workplaces safe and achieving Mission: Zero.”

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 http://www.wcbsask.com/ for more detail on rate setting and other WCB initiatives.

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.


Media contact:

Carolyn Van der Veen

WCB Director, Communications

Categorized under:

Premium rates