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.

2022 Committee of Review

The 2022 Workers’ Compensation Act Committee of Review (Committee of Review) was appointed on Aug. 5, 2021 to review:

Public hearings were held by the Committee of Review - Workers' Compensation Act in early 2022. Interested individuals were invited to register to attend the public hearing as an observer or submit concerns to present at the hearing.

Information on the hearings was posted to the Committee of Review webpage.

Submissions were accepted by mail.

The 2022 Committee of Review received 61 written submissions from organizations and 19 from individuals, and hosted public hearings using Zoom. The Workers’ Compensation Act Committee of Review 2022 Report is based on those public consultations.

The 2022 committee report, released in November 2022, made 34 recommendations.

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  1. Make legislative changes to cover work-based learning programs by providing worker's compensation benefits to students.
  2. Increase the minimum and maximum awards payable for permanent functional impairment in order to provide fairer compensation for permanently injured workers. The maximum award should be calculated using rate of impairment, reflects the worker’s actual annual earnings and cannot exceed the worker’s annual earnings in the year that the accident occurred.
  3.  Amend subsection 80(2) of the Act to extend coverage of transportation of the worker’s body to his or her usual place of residence, regardless of if outside Canada, where it is requested by the family of the deceased.
  4. Provide death benefits such as a one-time payment to the estate of a deceased worker who has no dependents, no parents or who has parents, non-dependent child.
  5. Amend subsection 93(3) of the Act to add a similar or same provision as clause 93(1)(b) in order to provide equitable compensation to a worker’s dependent children or other dependents regardless of if the injured worker parent had received benefits for less or more than 24 months before the worker passed away from a non-work-related injury.
  6. Review section three of the Regulations to update industries and occupations currently included or excluded from the Act that should be considered for inclusion.
  7. Encourage employers to advise workers employed in the excluded occupations that they are not covered by the provisions of the Act.
  8. Amend subclause 2(1)(ii)(iii) of the Act under the definition of a worker to remove the wording of executive officer. Coverage for a director could be similar to that provided to an owner or partner per General Regulations Section 14 and POL 12/2020.
  9. Encourage the continuation of safety programs for youth and to be made available throughout high schools in Saskatchewan. The safety associations should be involved in joint efforts with WorkSafe Saskatchewan and the Saskatchewan Safety Council in these youth safety programs.
  10. Amend subsection 173(4) of the Act to mirror subsection 38(1) of HIPA in order to provide the same level of standard to sensitive health information.
  11. Add subsection 174(3) of the Act to the list of administrative penalties in subsection 183(1) to create accountability if an employer breaches privacy of a worker’s information.
  12. Any amendments to Section 174 of the Act to create an easier process for providing an injured worker’s medical information to their employer would require a dispute mechanism for those workers who object to their medical information being shared with their employer.
  13. Fund out-of-province treatment options when recommended by a medical practitioner for public safety personnel with psychological injuries who have no job specific medical programs to access in Saskatchewan.
  14. Work and partner with public safety agencies to establish better proactive treatment programs for psychological injuries.
  15. Provide more trauma informed training including communication tools for Saskatchewan WCB staff who deal with psychological injury claims.
  16. Clarify and adjust the legislation for psychological injuries to further address the issue of presumptive coverage in order to provide quicker supports. The Policy and Procedure Manual needs to support the intent of the Act.
  17. Create a standalone chronic pain policy which is similar to what most other provinces have done.
  18. Provide enhanced customer service training to staff which includes how to show compassion and understanding, how to listen, and how to deal with people who are experiencing difficult life situations and who may not get approval for an injury claim
  19. Create a dedicated team of adjudicators to deal with specific employers who submit a large number of injury claims. Dealing with a dedicated team will improve efficiencies and communication as they would be familiar with the employer on an ongoing basis.
  20. Develop a communication strategy with the Saskatchewan Medical Association, the College of Physicians and Surgeons and Chiropractors’ Association of Saskatchewan on the important role of the primary practitioner in the process to help guide the injured worker to return to work including providing details on their functional abilities, restrictions and limitations.
  21. Develop an easy-to-understand guide (the anatomy of a claim) which may include diagrams/flow charts for workers and employers to better understand the claim submission, and decision making and appeal processes within the Saskatchewan WCB.
  22. Update the Saskatchewan WCB pamphlet “Information for the Worker” by providing a complete list of all available benefits that a worker may be entitled to.
  23. Simplify the language used in written communication with workers and the employers. Using plain language in the various communication methods by the Saskatchewan WCB would be helpful.
  24. Increase and improve communication on the status and implementation of COR recommendations including more information being provided on the Saskatchewan WCB website. Include the rationale on why recommendations were not implemented.
  25. Enhance communication methods and tools using traditional and non-traditional formats to focus on prevention and lowering time loss rates and serious injuries. These communication methods need to be directed at both the employer and worker.
  26. Develop a communication strategy to increase the understanding and use of return-to-work programs with injured workers, employers and WCB case staff. Use of this program would encourage an injured worker’s continuous involvement at the workplace while complying with medical restrictions during their recovery.
  27. Simplify the language and requirements and improve the processes in Sections 59, 60 and 61 of the Act in order to increase the acceptance of the Medical Review Panel (MRP) Enabling Certificate applications and make it easier to find medical professionals who will sit on an MRP.
  28. Improve the content and communication tools used to describe the role and function of the MRP in order to provide better understanding to workers and employers that it is a legislated dispute resolution mechanism to only deal with medical issues after all internal Saskatchewan WCB appeal processes have been completed.
  29. Work with the Saskatchewan Medical Association and the Chiropractors’ Association of Saskatchewan to create a better understanding for the primary practitioner on the importance of providing proper documentation in the medical assessment of the injured worker when they first present themselves.
  30. Increase communication to employers, especially smaller companies regarding the assistance that is available to them from the Employer Resource Centre.
  31. Future appointments to the Saskatchewan WCB’s board need to consider a more diverse selection of individuals to create a better representation of the Saskatchewan workforce.
  32. Maintain the current model for the Board Appeal Tribunal as an internal structure within the Saskatchewan WCB.
  33. Amend Section 23 of the Act stating all decisions shall require reasons for the decision, and to include clarification of the significance of the evidence used to make the decision.
  34. Publish the Board Appeal Tribunal decisions with a purpose to promoting transparency and accountability, demonstrating the decision-making process undertaken and instilling confidence in the decisions made by the Tribunal. Criteria can be developed within policy on protecting the identity of the claimant and the kinds of decisions to publish.

Read the 2022 report

The 2016 committee report made 11 recommendations.

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  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 Injured Worker Appeal Services, 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.


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.

If you have any questions, please contact the Committee of Review at or call 1.866.919.1920 (toll-free across Canada).