COVID-19 Response – Employer Relief Measures - Late Payment Interest
ADM POL 02/2020
Effective date: April 1, 2020
Application: Applies to all WCB employer accounts on or after the effective date and ending as determined by WCB.
Policy subject: COVID-19
To establish employer relief measures during the COVID-19 crisis.
- The Workers’ Compensation Act, 2013 (the “Act”) and The Workers’ Compensation General Regulations, 1985 (the “General Regulations”) authorize the Workers’ Compensation Board (WCB) to charge penalties and interest to employers who fail to register their business, provide payroll information, or remit premiums promptly.
- When an employer fails to a pay an assessment when it is due, WCB is authorized to apply a penalty (General Regulations Section 8). Effective January 1, 2020, this penalty is equal to 8% (PRO 12/2019, Default in Assessment Payment).
- In accordance with Sections 131 and 132 of the Act, a contractor is considered to be a worker of the principal unless they are eligible for and choose to purchase optional personal coverage.
- If a contractor has WCB coverage and the principal has not obtained a clearance from the WCB prior to making payment to that contractor, the principal may be liable for the contractor’s outstanding premiums.
- The principal shall withhold any payment to a contractor until the WCB confirms the contractor has fulfilled all obligations under the Act (General Regulations section 17).
The COVID-19 crisis has caused, and will continue to cause, significant economic hardships for Saskatchewan employers and workers.
- To help alleviate cash flow concerns for Saskatchewan employers who are unable to remit their premium assessments by April 1 2020, the penalty for defaulting employers will be waived until June 30, 2020.
- This relief measure may be extended additional months if the COVID crisis continues to affect the majority of Saskatchewan employers.
- To provide further relief for Saskatchewan employers, while balancing its financial obligations, the WCB will:
- Prioritize payroll revisions to help employers reduce their premiums.
- Forgive interest for late payments applied in March.
- Suspend payroll audits until further notice except in situations where an employer may be eligible for a refund.
- To ensure employers are able to release payment to their contractors promptly during this period, clearance letters will be available for employers that meet specific criteria, even in cases where the contractor’s WCB account has not been paid. Employers will not be liable for any outstanding WCB premiums that the contractor owes.
- During this time, WCB management will review and monitor measures to determine:
- WCB’s cash flow management.
- The effectiveness of waiving late payment penalties.
- If other measures to assist employers should be considered, and
- The appropriate end date of these relief measures in consultation with the Board Members.
The Workers’ Compensation Act, 2013
Sections 122, 123, 131, 132, 152
The Workers’ Compensation General Regulations, 1985
Sections 8, 17
(1) n/a; new ADM policy.