With the recent 2017-18 Budget announcement, programs and services affected will be updated shortly. Posted March 22, 2017

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Appeals

Part III and IV of The Saskatchewan Employment Act outline the appeal processes for occupational health and safety matters.  This includes: what an appeal is; the type of decisions that may be appealed and to whom; the individuals who are allowed to submit an appeal; what is required to appeal a decision; what an adjudicator is; the appointment and powers of adjudicators; and the adjudication process.

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1. Who can appeal decisions of Occupational Health Officers?

An appeal is a challenge to a decision of a government employee who administers and enforces The Saskatchewan Employment Act.  A person who is directly affected by a decision can formally request an appeal.  This can be any of the following persons:

  • Worker;
  • Employer;
  • Self-employed person;
  • Contractor;
  • Prime contractor;
  • Owner;
  • Supplier; or
  • Any other prescribed person or member or a category of prescribed persons.
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2. How can you file an appeal?

An appeal can be filed by providing a written notice of appeal to the Director of the Occupational Health and Safety Division within 15 business days of the date the decision was served. The written notice of appeal must:

  • Identify and state the decision being appealed;
  • State the names of all persons who are directly affected by the decision;
  • Set out the grounds of the appeal; and
  • State what the appellant wants done to correct the situation.

A written notice of appeal must be made to the attention of the:

(Executive) Director
Occupational Health and Safety Division
Ministry of Labour Relations and Workplace Safety
300-1870 Albert Street
REGINA SK  S4P 4W1

A written notice of appeal may be mailed to the above address, e-mailed to ohs.executiveoffice@gov.sk.ca or sent by fax to 306.787.2208.  Mailed notices should be sent by registered or certified mail.

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3. What happens after an appeal is filed?

Appeals of occupational health officer decisions are made to the Director of the Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) Division.  The Director can conduct appeals internally or choose to forward them to an adjudicator.  All appeals that will be heard by an adjudicator are forwarded to the Saskatchewan Labour Relations Board, who assigns the adjudicator. Certain appeals must be forwarded directly to an adjudicator.

If the Director of the OHS Division conducts the appeal internally, the Division will provide notice of the appeal to the persons who are directly affected by the decision and will provide opportunity for the persons who are directly affected to make written representations as to whether the decision should be affirmed, amended, or cancelled.  The Director is not required to provide an oral hearing.

Written representation must be made within 30 days after the notice of appeal is provided to the person or within any further period permitted by the Director of the Occupational Health and Safety Division.

After conducting an appeal, the Director of the OHS Division will affirm, amend or cancel the original decision and will provide written reasons for the decision.  The Director will provide a copy of the decision to all persons who are directly affected by the decision.  A decision by the Director can be appealed and heard by an adjudicator.

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4. What is an adjudicator?

An adjudicator is a judge who is authorized to settle conflicts and disputes brought before a court of justice.  Adjudicators are assigned to specific appeal hearings by the Labour Relations Board.
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5. What powers do adjudicators have?

Adjudicators may:

  • Require any party to provide testimony;
  • Require any party to testify under oath;
  • Require any party to provide documents relevant to the appeal;
  • Administer oaths or affirmations;
  • Decide questions of fact relevant to the appeal and may accept evidence even if it would not be admissible in a regular court;
  • Conduct any appeal using a means of simultaneous telecommunications; and
  • Adjourn or postpone the appeal.
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6. What procedures do adjudicated hearings follow?

The Saskatchewan Labour Relations Board will consult with the adjudicator to set a time, day, and place for the appeal or hearing.  Written notice will be provided to the employer, affected employees, corporate directors and the Director of the Occupational Health and Safety Division.

The adjudicator determines the procedures by which an appeal is conducted.  Adjudicators are not bound by the normal rules of evidence law, and may accept any evidence they consider appropriate.

If a person who is directly affected by an appeal has been given notice of the appeal, the adjudicator may proceed in their absence.  Furthermore, adjudicators, at their discretion, may use simultaneous telecommunications to conduct a proceeding.  This allows the process to work without everyone having to be in the same physical location.

Each party in an appeal may represent themselves or choose to have someone else represent them during the appeal process.  Typically, this could mean an employer representative or a lawyer.

The adjudicator’s decision will be based on the evidence presented during the hearings.  When the hearings have ended, the adjudicator can choose to accept or dismiss the appeal; or revoke, change, or accept the original decision as written.

The decision of an adjudicator can be appealed to the Saskatchewan Labour Relations Board if the appeal is pursuant to a question of the law.  Under certain circumstances a decision of the Saskatchewan Labour Relations Board can be appealed to the Saskatchewan Court of Appeal.  

It is important to note that section 4-4(5) of The Saskatchewan Employment Act states that a 'technical irregularity' does not invalidate the proceeding of a hearing or the outcome of an appeal.  This means that a technical or procedural error during the appeal process will not nullify or void the outcome of an appeal.

For more information on appealing a decision to the Saskatchewan Labour Relations Board, please contact the Saskatchewan Labour Relations Board at 306.787.2406 (Regina), or visit their website at http://www.sasklabourrelationsboard.com.

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