Penalties (fines) related to occupational health and safety contraventions are an important mechanism for ensuring compliance with The Saskatchewan Employment Act and are a strong deterrent for those who would choose to be non-compliant.
Section 3-79 of The Saskatchewan Employment Act outlines the increase to penalty amounts. Increased penalties will act as stronger deterrents to those who would disregard the provisions of the Act and place workers in harm's way. In addition to these increases, subsections 3-79(7), (8), and (9) outline the maximum penalties associated with offences that cause the serious injury or death of a worker(s).
Many of the penalties have been doubled from their previous levels and additional penalties have been established.
Subsections 3-79(7) and (9) of The Saskatchewan Employment Act establish maximum penalties for individuals or corporations who are convicted of offences that cause serious injuries or fatalities. The maximum fine for individuals is $500,000 and for corporations is $1,500,000. While the maximum penalty is set by legislation, the actual amount charged to an individual or corporation is at the discretion of a judge.
At $1,500,000 for a corporation, Saskatchewan now has the highest penalty for incidents causing the death or serious injury of a worker in Canada. This penalty is comparable to:
- British Columbia whose maximum penalty for a first offence is $618,730.69, with subsequent offences increasing to $1,237,461.35;
- Alberta whose maximum penalty for a first time offence is $500,000, with subsequent offences increasing to $1,000,000; and
- Manitoba whose maximum penalty for a first time offence is $150,000, with subsequent offences increasing to $300,000.