The Saskatchewan Workers’ Compensation Board (WCB) has proposed an 8.2 per cent drop to its 2016 average premium rate, from $1.46 to $1.34 per hundred dollars of payroll.
The 2016 rate reduction is the ninth straight drop to the average premium rate and the lowest rate in 30 years. Saskatchewan’s preliminary 2016 average employer premium is 34.6 per cent below the 13-year high of $2.05 in 2004. The 2016 rate proposal means that Saskatchewan could have the fourth lowest average premium rate in Canada next year.
“The proposed rate reduction is good news for business owners and workers," said WCB chairperson, Gordon Dobrowolsky. "We continuously strive to maintain a balance between stable rates and a fully funded compensation system.”
Improved safety performance records in 45 of 50 industry rate codes are expected to result in lower 2016 premium rates for 45,683 of Saskatchewan’s 47,783 employers.
With the 2016 rate proposal, premium rates for 96 per cent of Saskatchewan employers in 45 industry rate codes will drop. The decreases range from 0.6 to 18.1 per cent. The average decrease is 7.8 per cent. There will be no change in premium rate for employers in one industry rate code.
Premium rates for four industry rate codes will increase next year. This represents 4.2 per cent of registered employers. Of the increases, only one industry rate code will be over 10.5 per cent. The average increase is 7.2 percent.
“Our rates continue to improve because of decreased injury rates and an increase in return-to-work programs. This ninth straight premium rate reduction demonstrates the direct impact of injury prevention by Saskatchewan employers and workers," said WCB CEO Peter Federko. "Employers and workers are committing to making workplaces safer. It’s having a steady positive effect on the injury rate.”
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The WSIB, with JLT Canada and the Public Services Health and Safety Administration, held a discussion panel to explain the changes to the rate-setting framework.