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Sask. WCB offers cost relief measures to employers

 

To contact Saskatchewan WCB if you have questions:

Email:  employerservices@wcbsask.com

Phone:  1.800.667.7590 Option 2

to submit information:

You can register for a WCB online account at the following link:

https://myaccount.wcbsask.com/online-services

 

 

The Saskatchewan Workers’ Compensation Board (WCB) is introducing additional relief measures for employers who are unable to pay their WCB premium payments. Effective April 1 until June 30, 2020, the WCB will waive penalties and interest charges for late premium payments.

The Government of Saskatchewan announced various measures to support provincial business owners during the COVID-19 crisis. To provide further relief for Saskatchewan employers, the WCB is:

•Forgiving interest and penalties for late payments on 2020 premiums applied in the month of March.

•Prioritizing employer payroll revisions to help employers reduce their premiums.

•Suspending payroll audits until further notice except in situations where an employer may be eligible for a refund.

“We are dealing with extraordinary circumstances throughout the province of Saskatchewan.  Recognizing the economic challenges many employers are facing, we are introducing these relief measures for covered employers while balancing our financial obligations,” said the WCB’s CEO Phil Germain. “By giving employers extra time to submit their payments without facing any penalties, they will be able to communicate their revised payroll estimates to the WCB and determine payment plan options.”

Employers who have reduced their workforce are encouraged to submit revisions to their 2020 assessable payroll estimates, which the WCB will use to recalculate their required premiums. Employers who have concerns about paying their 2020 premiums should contact the WCB to discuss their options.

Effective immediately, to ensure employers can release payment to their contractors promptly during the COVID-19 crisis, clearance letters will be available for employers that meet specific criteria, even in cases where the contractor’s WCB account has not been paid. Employers will not be liable for any outstanding WCB premiums the contractor owes.

Under the WCB’s legislation, The Workers’ Compensation Act, 2013, the WCB is required to be fully funded at all times.

The WCB will continue to monitor this situation and make decisions that balance the needs of employers and injured workers.

Frequently asked questions

What is the Saskatchewan WCB doing to assist employers?

Due to COVID-19, many employers are unable to submit their premium payments. Therefore, to provide further relief for all Saskatchewan employers, penalties and interest charges for late premium payments will be waived effective April 1 until June 30, 2020. This will be monitored continuously as the situation evolves.

Why are payments not being waived as in other provinces?

Most WCBs have instituted a three-month waiving of premiums, similar to what the Saskatchewan WCB is implementing. To date, only one province has deferred premiums for 2020.

The Workers’ Compensation Act, 2013 (the Act) requires the WCB to maintain an Injury Fund sufficient to finance its activities and other obligations under the Act. The WCB is to be fully funded at all times.

Should I pay my 2020 premiums at this time?

Employers who are able to pay their premiums at this time are encouraged to pay their WCB premiums on a timely basis.

I’ve already paid my 2020 premiums, but I am now encountering financial hardship. What should I do?

Employers who have reduced their workforce are encouraged to submit revisions to their 2020 assessable payroll estimates, which the WCB will use to recalculate their required premiums. Please contact us at:

Email:  employerservices@wcbsask.com

Phone:  1.800.667.7590 Option 2

My expected payroll for 2020 is significantly changed from when I submitted my EPS. What should I do?

Employers who have reduced their workforce are encouraged to submit revisions to their 2020 assessable payroll estimates, which will be used to recalculate their required premiums. The easiest way to do this is through your WCB online account (information on setting up a WCB online account is included at the bottom).  If you do not have an employer account, please contact us at:

Email:  employerservices@wcbsask.com

Phone:  1.800.667.7590 Option 2

How will clearance letters on unpaid accounts be handled?

To ensure employers are able to release payment to their contractors promptly during this period, clearance letters will be available for employers that meet specific criteria, even in cases where the contractor’s WCB account has not been paid. Employers will not be liable for any outstanding WCB premiums that the contractor owes.

Why are late payments only being waived until June?  What if situations regarding the pandemic have not changed in Saskatchewan by that time?

Based on the analysis completed, the WCB recommends that late payment interest be waived for all employers effective April 1 until June 30, 2020. This will be monitored continuously as the situation evolves.

This timeframe will allow employers time to:

•Revise and communicate revised payroll estimates to the Saskatchewan WCB.

•Discuss their situation with the WCB and determine appropriate payment plan options if they can’t meet predetermined WCB deadlines.

Is the Saskatchewan WCB doing anything else to assist employers?

To provide further relief for Saskatchewan employers, while balancing its financial obligations, the WCB will:

•Forgive interest and penalties for late payments applied in the month of March

•Prioritize employer payroll revisions to help employers reduce their premiums.

•Suspend payroll audits until further notice except in situations where an employer may be eligible for a refund.