The Saskatchewan Workers' Compensation Board proposed a 4.4 per cent drop to its 2014 average premium rate, from $1.58 to $1.51 per hundred dollars of payroll.
The rate reduction is the seventh straight drop to the average premium rate and the lowest rate proposal since 1987. The rate has dropped 26.3 per cent since a high of $2.05 in 2004. The 2014 rate proposal means that Saskatchewan could have the fourth lowest average premium rate in Canada next year.
WCB chairperson Gordon Dobrowolsky explains the proposed reduction is driven by growth in payroll and a reduction in injuries.
“In a very real sense, Saskatchewan employers and workers earned the 2014 rate reduction by preventing injuries and through return to work programs that can shorten the duration of an injury.”
With the 2014 rate proposal:
• Premiums for 33,583 employers in 40 rate codes will drop. This represents 82 per cent of employers registered with the WCB. The decreases range from 0.9 to 12 per cent. The average decrease is 5.2 per cent.
• Premiums for 5,635 employers in eight rate codes will increase next year. This represents 14 per cent of registered employers. All increases are under 10.5 per cent. The average increase is 3.4 per cent.
• Premiums for employers in two rate codes remain the same.
• For the second consecutive year, and only the second time in nearly 20 years, no industry rate code has increases over 10.5 per cent.
The WCB is forecasting a 2013 time loss injury rate of 2.50 per cent. It represents a 49.5 per cent decrease since reaching an all-time high of 4.95 per cent in 2002.
“We’ve made great strides in the past decade,” Federko said. “But Mission: Zero has to remain top of mind. Whether you are an employer or a worker, going home safe and whole at the end of the workday should be your goal.”