Regina, Sask., May 18, 2022 – Today, the Saskatchewan Workers’ Compensation Board (WCB) shared an overview of the WCB’s operating and financial results at its annual general meeting (AGM), held virtually in Regina. The WCB’s executive team also provided attendees with 2021 workplace injuries and fatalities statistics and provided a plan that will transform the way customers are served at the WCB.
In 2021, the WCB announced that it would begin a multi-year transformation of how the organization serves the workers and employers in the province. The WCB recognizes its customers’ needs are changing and because of that, through the WCB’s Business Transformation Program, the organization will work to adapt its business processes to meet the current and future expectations of all customers.
The WCB remained fully funded at 107.6 per cent in 2021. Under The Workers’ Compensation Act, 2013, the WCB is legislated to maintain an injury fund to cover all current and future injured worker claims. To ensure its funded position, the WCB established a funding range based on advice from external actuaries that targets a funded position between 105 per cent to 120 per cent.
The WCB continued to provide additional COVID-19 support to workers and employers through 2021. This included providing more than $5.6 million in 2020 and 2021 in cost relief for COVID-19 claims. This cost relief has been extended to June 2022. The WCB also held employer premium rates at $1.17 when the required rate was $1.23, providing more than $13 million in financial relief to employers.
In 2021, 90 per cent of Saskatchewan workplaces reported zero injuries or fatalities for the second year in a row. Last year, 31 workplace fatalities were reported, down from 34 in 2020. The WCB, along with its WorkSafe partners at the Ministry of Labour Relations and Workplace Safety, continued to implement initiatives outlined in its Fatalities and Serious Injuries Strategy, launched in December 2019.
The workplace Total injury rate in 2021 increased to 4.56 injuries per 100 workers, representing a two per cent increase from the 2020 Total injury rate of 4.46 per 100 workers. The 2021 Time Loss injury rate increased to 2.03 injuries per 100 workers, up 14 per cent from the 2020 rate of 1.78 injuries per 100 workers. Without COVID-19 claims, the Time Loss injury rate would have been 1.78 per 100 workers in 2021 (compared to 2.03 per 100 workers with COVID-19 claims) and 1.70 per 100 workers in 2020 (compared to 1.78 per 100 workers with COVID-19 claims). In 2021, the WCB accepted 1,035 compensation claims related to COVID-19, compared to 347 in 2020.
In 2021, claim costs were $336.2 million in 2021, up from $319.6 million in 2020. The WCB’s injury fund was at $549.4 million as of year-end 2021, compared to $479.6 million in 2020. The WCB had premium revenues of $259 million in 2021 (up from $256 million in 2020) and investment income of $254 million in 2021 (up from $77 million in 2020). Investment income includes realized investment income of $113 million plus an increase in unrealized gains on investments of $141 million. The WCB covered 392,813 full-time equivalent (FTE) workers in 2021, compared to 402,306 in 2020.
For more information on these results, the WCB’s 2021 annual report is available online at wcbsask.com.