REGINA, SK – The Saskatchewan Workers’ Compensation Board (WCB) has approved the 2019 average employer premium rate of $1.17 per hundred dollars of payroll, a decrease of 1.7 per cent from the 2018 rate of $1.19. The 2019 rate marks the 12th consecutive year the rate has dropped, making it the lowest rate in more than 30 years. The 2019 average rate is 42.9 per cent below the 16-year high of $2.05 in 2004.
“Because of the safety focus of many employers and workers, many industry rate codes have experienced fewer workplace injuries and lower claims costs,” said WCB Chairperson Gord Dobrowolsky. “This is a factor in the overall drop in premium rates.”
In 2019, 42.5 per cent of Saskatchewan employers covered by the WCB will see a decrease or no change to their industry premium rate, with the decreases ranging from 0.6 per cent to 14.0 per cent. The premium rates for 57.5 per cent of employers will increase in 2019, with the increases ranging from 1.2 per cent to 17.4 per cent.
The 2019 industry premium rates reflect the WCB’s complete transition to the enhanced rate model that was implemented in 2018. 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 was calculated under the enhanced model. Of the employers seeing an increase to their 2019 premium rate, 54.5 per cent are because of the final transition to the enhanced rate model.
Through effective injury prevention and return-to-work programs, employers can influence the premium rate they pay. For more information, visit www.worksafesask.ca.
“We’ve seen what successful injury prevention initiatives can accomplish in the workplace. For the past two years, 88 per cent of employers in our province achieved zero injuries,” said WCB CEO Peter Federko. “However, we need to keep working together and stay committed to keeping every workplace safe.”
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.
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.