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Learn about the historic compromise dating back 100 years known as the Meredith Principles, which form the basis for all Canadian workers’ compensation systems.

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Workers’ compensation insurance is a provincial responsibility. Each Canadian province and territory has its own workers’ compensation legislation.

The Saskatchewan Workers’ Compensation Board (WCB) operates like an insurance company. We provide guaranteed benefits and programs to injured workers in industries covered by The Workers’ Compensation Act, 2013 and we protect registered employers from lawsuits when a workplace injury happens.

The Saskatchewan WCB was established in 1911 because of a historic compromise between Saskatchewan workers and employers. Under that compromise, workers injured on the job in covered industries do not have to pay for the benefits they receive or sue their employers to get them. Costs are paid entirely by Saskatchewan employers in covered industries. This is referred to as a no-fault insurance system, also referred to as the compensation system.

The WCB’s vision is to eliminate injuries and restore abilities. This is the fundamental driver of all that we do on behalf of our customers – the workers and employers of the province. The WCB is governed by The Workers’ Compensation Act, 2013.

The Meredith Principles

The Meredith Principles can be expressed in different ways. However, there are five basic concepts that underlie most workers’ compensation legislation in Canada today. These principles are a historic compromise in which employers fund the workers’ compensation system and injured workers in turn surrender their right to sue their employer if they are injured on the job.

These principles are the foundation upon which the Canadian workers’ compensation legislation is built.

  1. No-fault compensation: Workers are paid benefits regardless of how the injury occurred. The worker and employer waive the right to sue. There is no argument over responsibility or liability for an injury.
  2. Security of benefits: A fund is established to guarantee funds exist to pay benefits.
  3. Collective liability: Covered employers, on the whole, share liability for workplace injury insurance. The total cost of the compensation system is shared by all employers. All employers contribute to a common fund. Financial liability becomes their collective responsibility.
  4. Independent administration: The organizations who administer workers’ compensation insurance are separate from government.
  5. Exclusive jurisdiction: Only workers’ compensation organizations provide workers’ compensation insurance. All compensation claims are directed solely to the compensation board. The board is the decision maker and final authority for all claims.

These principles are the foundation upon which the majority of Canadian workers’ compensation legislation is built. View the Meredith Report.