Document name
Employer Coverage and Registration
Document number
POL 11/2011

Effective date: November 1, 2011

Last updated: October 17, 2011

Application: All employers and workers.

Policy subject: Employer coverage and registration


To provide general information on the guidelines for employer registration and coverage.


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Employer means any person, association or body that hires one or more workers on a full-time, part-time, casual, or contract basis.

Worker means a worker as defined by The Workers’ Compensation Act, 2013 (the “Act”).

Proprietorship means a business owned and operated by one person.

Partnership means a business owned and operated by two or more individuals.

Corporation means a legal entity that is separate and distinct from its owners.

Director means an individual chosen to control or govern the affairs of a corporation, including executive officers, who are registered as a director of that corporation.   

Principal means a person or business who hires a contractor to perform work or services.

Contractor means a person or business that is hired under contract by another person or business to perform work or services. A contractor is also referred to as a subcontractor.

Clearance means a letter from the WCB that authorizes a principal to make payment to a contractor for work completed as of the date of the clearance. A clearance protects the principal from having to pay any overdue premiums the contractor owes.

Assessable earnings means a worker’s gross earnings before deductions for income tax, Employment Insurance, Canada Pension Plan, and other similar deductions up to the maximum assessable amount for the calendar year being reported.


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  1. Section 3(1) of the Act, states that the “Act applies to all employers and workers engaged in, about or in connection with any industry in Saskatchewan except the farming or ranching industry, and those industries, employers or workers excluded” pursuant to The Workers’ Compensation Act Miscellaneous Regulations.
  2. Section 20(2) provides the Workers’ Compensation Board (WCB) exclusive jurisdiction to determine whether any industry or worker is within the scope of the Act.
  3. Section 3(3) of the Act states that “an industry, employer or worker excluded from this Act may apply to the board to be brought within the scope of this Act.”
  4. Section 164 restricts an employer from deducting from the wages of a worker any sum that the employer is liable to pay to the WCB as premiums, except in cases where the contractor owns and operates equipment or hires another person to operate that equipment as stipulated in Section 8 of the Act.


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Coverage – Mandatory

  1. All employers operating in an industry covered under the Act who hire workers are required to register with the WCB within 30 calendar days of commencing business.  Coverage will be effective the date the employer first employs workers.
  2. Employers are required to report assessable earnings for all full-time, part-time, casual, or contract workers. 
  3. When a director of a corporation is carried on the payroll, they are considered a worker under the scope of the Act.
  4. Where an out of province employer sends workers into Saskatchewan, account eligibility will be determined in accordance with POL 07/2002, Coverage within Saskatchewan – Out of Province Employers. 
  5. Volunteers are not considered workers under the scope of the Act with the exception of volunteers in mine rescue work, members of the Emergency Measures Organization, volunteer firefighters, and first responders.

Principal/Contractor Relationships

  1. Contractors who hire workers are required to register as an employer with the WCB.
  2. Contractors who do not hire workers are considered a worker of the principal unless they are eligible for and have purchased personal coverage. POL 15/2000, Coverage – Independent Worker, determines when a contractor is eligible for personal coverage.
  3. Where a contractor is working for a principal that is not in a mandatory industry, coverage is not provided for the contractor.
  4. Where a principal hires a contractor that is not in a mandatory industry, the workers of the contractor will not be considered workers of the principal.
  5. When a contractor is considered a worker of the principal, they are classified at the principal’s industry rate code and the principal is required to pay premiums for the contractor based on the labour portion of the contract.
  6. A principal company is required to obtain a clearance before paying any contractor they hire to ensure they are not responsible for the contractor’s overdue premiums.

Coverage – Optional

  1. The WCB may approve two types of optional coverage: voluntary coverage and personal coverage.
    1. Voluntary coverage may be applied for by employers in excluded industries.
    2. Personal coverage may be purchased by:
      1. proprietors and their spouses;
      2. partners and their spouses;
      3. directors of a corporation not on the payroll;
      4. elected officials of a city, town or village; and
      5. members of the governing body of a non-profit corporation or organization.

Cancellation of Coverage

  1. An employer’s coverage in an industry that is mandatory under the Act will only be cancelled when the business no longer employs workers or is no longer in operation. The effective date of cancellation will be the date the employer ceased to employ workers or ceased operating the business.
  2. If optional coverage has been purchased, coverage will remain in effect until the employer requests in writing that coverage be cancelled or until the WCB cancels it for one of the following reasons, which include, but are not limited to:
    1. non-payment of premiums;
    2. failure to provide the required payroll information; 
    3. providing false or misleading information to the WCB;
    4. mail is returned and an alternate address cannot be found; or
    5. any other instance where the WCB determines coverage should be terminated.

Policy references

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Section heading

Act Sec #

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2(1)(l), 2(1)(ii), 3, 4, 5, 8, 20, 32(1), 37, 43, 116, 119, 121, 122, 123, 124, 131, 132, 134, 137, 139, 148, 152, 153, 158(1), 158(2), 164; The Workers’ Compensation General Regulations 3, 4, 5, 8, 12 and 14(1);
The Workers’ Compensation Miscellaneous Regulations.

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01 January 2014. References updated in accordance with The Workers’ Compensation Act, 2013
References updated 01 May 2015 in accordance with The Workers’ Compensation Miscellaneous Regulations

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