Regina, SK, Oct. 23, 2019 – The Saskatchewan Workers’ Compensation Board (WCB)’s 2020 proposed average employer premium rate will remain at $1.17 per hundred dollars of payroll. This is the same rate as in 2019. The announcement was made today in Prince Albert at the WCB’s annual rate setting meeting with Saskatchewan workers, employers and stakeholders.
“After more than a decade of decreases to our average premium rate, the average rate will not drop in 2020. Instead, our expected average rate will remain the same as last year’s rate,” said the WCB’s CEO Phil Germain. “Although the proposed average premium rate hasn’t changed, two-thirds of employers will see an increase to their industry premium rate next year. The economy plays a factor in whether our payroll will increase or decrease. We’re also seeing a consistent number of serious injuries occurring annually, which impacts claims costs. When claims costs increase at a faster rate than payroll, this impacts premium rates.”
Claims costs increased 7.62 per cent from 2017 to 2018. Contributing factors included increases in mental health claims costs, as well as a significant increase in the number of fatalities, which increased 78 per cent in 2018 compared to 2017. These types of claims that are more serious in nature require more, longer-term treatment and impact claims costs.
“The WCB’s 2020 proposed average premium rate is 43 per cent below the 17-year high of $2.05 in 2004. Preventing injuries plays a part in determining premium rates. While over the last three years 88 per cent of employers have achieved zero workplace injuries, the leveling off of the premium rate indicates that there is still more work to be done,” said Germain. “Our compensation system is designed to ensure that our employers pay for the costs related to today’s claims. Premiums collected in a rate year cover the lifetime costs associated with the claims that happen in that year.”
With the 2020 rate proposal:
- While Saskatchewan continues to have the third lowest premium rate in the country, premium rates for 67 per cent of employers will increase next year. The increases range from 0.8 per cent to 11.1 per cent.
- Industry premium rates for 33 per cent of Saskatchewan’s employers covered by the WCB will see a decrease or no change for 2020. The decreases range from 0.7 per cent to 12 per cent.
- The overall 2020 proposed average employer rate will remain at $1.17 per hundred dollars of payroll.
“For more than a decade, we’ve seen Saskatchewan workers and employers commit to injury prevention in the workplace. Not only has this protected the wellbeing of workers and employers, but it has also influenced the rates employers pay,” said the WCB’s Board Chairperson Gord Dobrowolsky. “We cannot thank all of you enough for your injury prevention efforts. However, even with these advances, we all need to remain vigilant to keep 100 per cent of our workplaces injury-free.”