Saskatchewan WCB proposes lowest average premium rate in 30 years

For the 10th year, the Saskatchewan Workers’ Compensation Board (WCB) has proposed a drop in its 2017 average premium rate, from $1.34 to $1.24 per hundred dollars of payroll.
The 7.5 per cent drop to the 2017 average rate from the 2016 average rate makes it the lowest rate in over 30 years.

Saskatchewan’s preliminary 2017 average employer premium is 39.5 per cent below the 14-year high of $2.05 in 2004. The 2017 rate proposal means that Saskatchewan could have the third lowest average premium rate in Canada next year.

“As a board, we don’t strive to have the lowest rates in Canada, rather we are obligated to maintain a balance between stable rates and a fully funded compensation system,” WCB chairperson, Gordon Dobrowolsky said.

With the 2017 rate proposal, premium rates for 45,778 of Saskatchewan employers in 43 industry rate codes will drop. The decreases range from 1.8 per cent to 18.6 per cent. There will be no change in premium rate for 2,367 employers in four industry rate codes.

Premium rates for three industry rate codes will increase next year due to worsening safety performance records, said the WCB. Rate increases for these 212 employers range from 0.6 per cent to 2.6 per cent. The average increase is 1.5 per cent.

“We see the commitment to safety and injury prevention of Saskatchewan employers and workers in our results. Injuries in our Saskatchewan workplaces cost employers and workers in terms of the human toll and also the financial implications,” said WCB’s CEO Peter Federko. “We can draw a straight line from improvements in injury rates to lower premium rates. This downward trend needs to continue. It’s only together that we will reach Mission: Zero.”

The 2017 rate proposal is being presented to business leaders at two public meetings: one in Saskatoon and one in Regina.