Document name
Compensation Rate – Minimum and Average Weekly Earnings
Document number
POL 28/2010

Effective date: November 1, 2010

Application: All claims commencing after 1 January 1983.

Policy subject: Benefits - General

Purpose:

To establish the guidelines for the application of Section 75 and Section 70(5) of The Workers’ Compensation Act, 2013 (the "Act").

DEFINITION

Policy section content
Section detail

Average weekly earnings, as determined by Section 70(1) of the Act, means the greater of:

  1. One fifty-second of the worker’s earnings for the 12 months preceding the commencement of the worker’s loss of earnings resulting from the injury; and
  2. The rate of daily, weekly, monthly or other regular gross earnings that the worker was receiving at the commencement of the worker’s loss of earnings resulting from the injury converted, in the case of a daily, monthly or other rate that is not a weekly rate, to a weekly amount.

Average weekly wage is determined by the Workers’ Compensation Board (WCB) for a calendar year. The average weekly wage is Saskatchewan’s industrial composite wage published by Statistics Canada as of June of the preceding year (Section 2).

Gross earnings means the worker’s earnings from all sources of employment, before all deductions, within an industry under the scope of the Act or for which coverage has been elected.

Totally unable to work, referred to in Section 75 of the Act, means that due to the workplace injury, the customer is completely prevented from working and is unable to participate in a return-to-work plan, or part-time or supernumerary work. Absences for medical appointments are not considered being totally unable to work.

BACKGROUND

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Section detail
  1. Section 68(1) of the Act directs that where injury to a worker results in a loss of earnings beyond the day of the injury, the WCB shall determine the loss of earnings resulting from the injury and shall ensure compensation to the worker:
    1. In the case of a worker who sustained an injury prior to September 1, 1985, in an amount equal to 75 per cent of that loss of earnings; or
    2. In the case of a worker who sustained an injury on or after September 1, 1985, in an amount equal to 90 per cent of that loss of earnings.
  2. Section 68(2) of the Act states that compensation pursuant to subsection (1) is payable for as long as the loss of earnings continues, but the compensation is no longer payable when the worker reaches the age of 65.
  3. Section 2(1)(k) of the Act directs that “earnings” means:
    1. In the case of a worker who sustained an injury before to September 1, 1985, the worker’s gross earnings from employment; or
    2. In the case of a worker who sustained an injury on or after September 1, 1985, the worker’s gross earnings from employment less the probable deductions for:
      1. The probable income tax payable by the worker calculated by using only the worker’s earnings from employment as their income, and using only the worker’s basic personal exemption, exemption for dependants and employment-related tax credits, as at the date of the worker’s injury and each anniversary date, as the worker’s deductions;
      2. The probable Canada Pension Plan premiums payable by the worker; and
      3. The probable employment insurance premiums payable by the worker.
  4. Section 75 of the Act directs that the amount of compensation payable to a worker who is injured on or after January 1, 1980 and who is totally unable to work because of the injury must be:
    1. During the period commencing on January 1, 1980 and ending on December 31, 1982, not less than $580 per month or, if the worker’s average earnings at the time of the injury are less than $580 per month, the amount of those average earnings; and
    2. On and after January 1, 1983, not less than one-half of the average weekly wage as of June in the year preceding the year in which the review occurs respecting the worker’s compensation or, if the worker’s average earnings at the time of the injury are less than that amount, the amount of those earnings.
  5. Section 70(5)(b) of the Act states if a worker is injured on or after January 1, 1980 and is in receipt of compensation for a period of at least 24 consecutive months, the worker’s average weekly earnings on and from January 1, 1983, are deemed to be not less than two-thirds of the average weekly wage as of June in the year preceding the year in which the review respecting their compensation occurs.

POLICY

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Section detail
  1. Where a worker has a loss of earnings due to a workplace injury, in an industry under the scope of the Act, which extends beyond the day of injury, the worker will qualify for wage loss benefits. POL 06/2016, Establishing Initial Wage Base, will apply.

Minimum Compensation – Section 75

  1. Where a worker is totally unable to work, the worker will be eligible for minimum compensation under Section 75 of the Act.
  2. Injured workers totally unable to work, whose average weekly earnings are less than one-half of the industrial composite, will receive compensation equal to the amount of their gross earnings at the time of injury, free of any probable deductions.
  3. Where a worker’s earnings are above the minimum outlined in Section 75 of the Act, and where the calculations called for in Section 68 of the Act would bring the benefit level below the minimum, those workers will receive one-half of the industrial composite.
  4. Where the worker is able to return to some form of employment, the provision of Section 75 of the Act will not apply. If a worker is fit for any form of employment, compensation will be in accordance with Section 68 of the Act and POL 03/2007, Calculation of Probable Compensation.

Average Weekly Earnings – Section 70(5)

  1. In accordance with Section 70(5) of the Act, where the injured worker has been in receipt of wage loss benefits on a single claim for 24 consecutive months, the workers average weekly earnings is to be not less than two-thirds of the industrial composite. A wage loss payment for a full or partial month will count towards the 24 consecutive months.
  2. Where the average weekly earnings is less than two-thirds of the industrial composite, the worker’s average weekly earnings will be adjusted the first day of earnings loss in the 25th month. The worker will receive wage loss benefits increased annually by the percentage increase in the Consumer Price Index (CPI) or two-thirds of the industrial composite, whichever is greater. There will be no retroactive effect.
  3. After the application of Section 70(5) of the Act if the calculations called for by Section 68 of the Act will reduce the rate of compensation below one half of the industrial composite, Section 75 will continue to apply. That is, where a worker is totally unable to work, the worker will receive one half of the industrial composite.
  4. Periods of benefit suspension, subject to POL 15/2016, Suspension of Benefits, will not count towards the 24 consecutive months referenced in Point 7. However, once a benefit suspension ends, the count will resume and the months accumulated prior to suspension will be applied to the total number of consecutive months.
  5. Where wage loss benefits are interrupted for reasons other than suspension and are subsequently reinstated, the months accumulated prior to the interruption will not be applied to the 24 month qualifying period.
  6. Sections 70(5) and 75 of the Act do not apply to the calculation of average weekly earnings for a dependent spouse’s compensation under Section 83 of the Act.

Policy references

Policy reference content

Section heading

Legislative Authority

Section detail

The Workers’ Compensation Act, 2013
Sections 2(1)(k), 68, 69.1, 70(5), 75

Section heading

Document History

Section detail

(1)    January 1, 2014. References updated in accordance with The Workers’ Compensation Act, 2013.
(2)    POL 18/2001, Minimum – Compensation Rate/Weekly Earnings (effective January 1, 2002 to October 31, 2010).
(3)    POL 06/98, Average Weekly Earnings at 24 Months (effective May 1, 1998 to December 31, 2001).
(4)    Board Order 49/85, Below Minimum Compensation Under the Net Income System (effective November 12, 1985 to December 31, 2001).
(5)    Board Order 17/83, Minimum Compensation (effective January 1, 1983 to December 31, 2001).
(6)    Board Order 20/82, Minimum Compensation (effective April 29, 1982 to December 31, 2001).
 

Section heading

Complements

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