In 2018, the Saskatchewan Workers’ Compensation Board
(WCB) changed their rate model on how they calculate the
premiums employers pay. Some employers are feeling the
pinch of the new rate model with a large increase in their WCB
Injury Solutions Canada has seen an uptake in the number of
companies seeking help in reducing their new WCB rate. Our com-pany
has had a number of calls from employers that now find them-selves
in a 200 per cent surcharge – a lot of extra money in today’s
economy. With a slow economy, it is so important to be competitive
but it can be very hard for those in a large WCB surcharge.
How do you know if your company is in a large surcharge? An em-ployer
should always be aware of their WCB rates, costs for their
firm and claims for their business. It is very important that employ-ers
take a close look at this information. This information is available
and easily accessible through an employer’s online WCB account. If
you do not have an online account, it is easy to sign up for one. Go
to www.wcbsask.com and under the “Employers” tab, click “Create
Online Account.” Alternatively, if you are still receiving paper state-ments
monthly, the same information is available to you but you
must request it from Employer Services at the Saskatchewan WCB.
What should you be looking for on your firm’s statements? As an
example, if you see claim costs from a claim that happened in 2001,
do you know why there are still ongoing costs? These claims from
the past can put you at a distinct disadvantage in your marketplace,
especially if you have to bid on contracts or deal with contract man-agement
firms. Your firm may not have had any injuries for sever-al
years, but can still have old costs from older claims showing up
against your firm and not realize it. The ignorance of not paying at-tention
to your costs may cost your firm big dollars in the form of
lost contracts and revenue.
If you have costs on your statement and you don’t know where
they are coming from, phone the WCB and ask to speak with an em-ployer
services representative to find out where those costs origi-nate.
They should be able to tell you what kind of cost it is – i.e.,
medical or wage loss. If you still do not understand, you may have
to phone a case manager who handles the specific claim where
the costs are incurring. Quite often, you may see a medical cost go
through on a claim that is older, that more often than not can be an
error. It pays to stay on top of your information.
What is the point to all of this, you may wonder? With the new
rate model, it is more important than ever that employers are aware
of their information, as costs against their firm will make a bigger
impact on their premiums. Those firms that do not pay attention
to their costs may be in for a big surprise in 2018. Firms in the ad-vanced
program can have a surcharge up to 200 per cent on top on
their base premiums they pay or a discount up to 30 per cent. Firms
in the standard program (usually smaller firms) can have a sur-charge
up to 75 per cent and a discount up to 25 per cent.
The best way for a firm to manage their costs is to implement a
safety management system to prevent injuries. If you belong to one
of the many safety associations in the province, they can help you
with safety. If you do not have a safety association, there are a num-ber
of firms that can assist with this.
The next essential thing an employer needs is a return to work
program to help return employees back to the workplace to cut
down on WCB costs and greatly benefit the health and recovery of
their injured employee. A return to work program also helps man-age
other insurance costs the employer may have, i.e., sick leave,
short-term and long-term disability. Your staff needs to be educated
on what the expectations are for them when it concerns returning
to work. The most common mistake employers make is not train-ing
their staff on the company’s expectation with return to work. If
you do not know anything about return to work, there are also firms
that can assist with that. Injury Solutions Canada spends consider-able
time assisting employers with designing a return to work pro-gram
and training their staff.
Managing your firm’s cost are absolutely essential if you want to
do business with any of the large contract management firms in the
province, such as ISNetworld. The other downside to not managing
your costs is having your firm precluded from the bidding process
on a contract or losing a large contract you currently have.
For more information on the changes to the 2018 rate model and
to see if your rate code went up, go to www.wcbsask.com.
SELENSERGEN / 123RF STOCK PHOTO
Some Employers are Feeling the
Fallout of the Saskatchewan Workers’
Compensation Board’s New Rate Model
Do you know what your surcharge is?
By Tracy Slywka, Injury Solutions Canada
thinkbigmagazine.ca | Quarter 2 2018 | Think BIG 47