Saskatchewan revamps workers’ compensation legislation

Saskatchewan has passed The Workers’ Compensation Act, 2012, which amends existing workers’ compensation legislation to improve client service, fairness, efficiency and accountability, according to the province.

Some of the amendments include the following:
• increasing the maximum wage rate to $59,000 for workers injured after the legislation takes effect?• indexing the maximum wage rate for current and future claimants to ensure benefits are consistent with inflation?• introducing administrative penalties up to $10,000 for employers who breach their obligations under the act?• enabling workers with less than $25,000 in their annuity account to choose how they access those funds, either through a lump-sum payment or an annuity?• ensuring employers assist with an employee’s return-to-work program.

“We have taken the advice of workers and employers and improved the workers’ compensation system,” Labour Relations and Workplace Safety Minister Don Morgan said.

In 2010, the government appointed an independent committee to perform a statutory review of the workers’ compensation system. The committee submitted its report in December 2011 and public consultations were held across the province in 2012.

The legislative amendments are expected to come into effect Jan. 1, 2014.