Document name
Coverage – Offenders in Work-Based Programs
Document number
POL 20/2014

Effective date: March 1, 2015

Application: All offenders in work-related programs sponsored by Justice.

Policy subject: Employer coverage and registration


To provide coverage to offenders participating in work-based programs.


Policy section content
Section detail

Alternative Measures means programs offered to offenders that provide the opportunity to take responsibility for their behaviour and address the harm that has been committed. Offenders participate in programs that resolve cases within a community agency or with community participation.

Community Service Work means unpaid work done for the community at large, community members or a community organization under the supervision of an agent or agency authorized by the Ministry of Justice and Attorney General (“Justice”).

Community Service Order (CSO) Program means an alternative sanction to incarceration (or some other penalty) for offenders that requires them to perform a specific number of hours of community service work.

Correctional Facility means a correctional centre or a community correctional facility pursuant to Section 2 of The Correctional Services Act, 2012.

Fine Option Program means a program authorized and administered by Justice that offers offenders the opportunity to settle a fine by performing community service work in lieu of paying cash for their fine.

Offender means a person who has been accused, charged with or convicted of an offence and who is bound by an alternative measures agreement or court order, including a person sentenced to a correctional facility or youth custody facility. This includes young offenders, meaning a young person charged or who accepts responsibility for committing an offence between the ages of 12 and 17 as defined in the Youth Criminal Justice Act (Canada).

Youth Custody Facility means a place of open custody, secure custody or temporary detention. Facilities may include a centre, home, institution, camp or other place or facility designated under the Youth Criminal Justice Act (Canada).


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  1. Historically, the Workers’ Compensation Board (WCB) has extended coverage for offenders in provincial correctional facilities as well as offenders in the Fine Options and CSO Programs through agreements between the WCB and Justice. WCB has also extended coverage to young offenders through agreements between the WCB and the Ministry of Social Services.
  2. In 2012, responsibility for all youth and adult corrections functions became part of Justice.
  3. Under Section 3 of The Workers’ Compensation Act, 2013 (the “Act”), Justice has requested that coverage continue to be extended to offenders while participating in work-based programs approved by Justice.


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Section detail
  1. Subject to the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between WCB and Justice, coverage under the Act is extended to offenders participating in work-based programs within correctional facilities, youth custody facilities, Alternative Measures programs, Fine Option programs and CSO programs that are offered by agencies authorized and sponsored, in whole or in part, by Justice.
  2. Under authority of Section 3 of the Act, WCB deems offenders to be workers while in the course of participating in a work-based program and by Section 20(2)(b) orders that offenders sponsored by Justice are in the course of employment.
  3. To be covered by the Act, offenders will be considered workers of Justice while in the course of completing a work-based program.
  4. Earnings loss benefits will be suspended during any period of incarceration.
  5. If there is a loss of earnings, the calculation of earnings loss benefits for any claims arising out of this policy will be based on:
    1. All earnings from the offender’s employment in industries covered by the Act.
    2. Where there are no covered earnings or the offender is participating in a Fine Option or CSO program, the provincial minimum wage for a 40 hour workweek for the first 24 months of demonstrated earnings loss.
    3. The earnings from both the Fine Options program and an offender’s regular employment, where the offender has indicated that they are missing time from their employer due to an injury suffered while participating in the Fine Options program.
    4. After earnings loss benefits have been paid for a period of 24 consecutive months, two-thirds of the average weekly wage as of June in the year immediately preceding the year in which the loss of earnings or ability to earn occurs, and
    5. In the event of a fatality, benefits to dependents will be based on the provisions of the Act.
  6. Any claims costs arising out of this policy will be applied directly to the cost experience of Justice and will be reflected in the premiums charged to the Government of Saskatchewan.
  7. Where an offender is participating in a work-based program for an employer who is covered under the Act and pays them an actual salary, the offender will be considered a worker of the employer and any costs arising out of an injury will be charged to the employer’s claims experience.
  8. Coverage under this policy is not extended to offenders incarcerated in any federal penitentiary or prison.
  9. The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) or designate shall have the authority to execute the MOU on behalf of the WCB.

Policy references

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Section heading

Legislative Authority

Section detail

The Workers’ Compensation Act, 2013

2(1)(ii), 3, 20, and 80; Criminal Code of Canada 717(1); Youth Criminal Justice Act 10; The Correctional Services Act, 2012

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Document History

Section detail

POL 83 Coverage - Inmates
POL 47/83 Coverage, Community Service Order Participants
POL 12/85 Coverage, Young Offenders Act

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