WSIB Rules Change Jan. 1 2013

WSIB Rules Change Jan. 1 2013

As of January 1, 2013, nearly everyone working in the Ontario construction industry must have Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) coverage or risk not being able to work.

The requirement for WSIB coverage for workers is not new. Construction employers currently must have WSIB coverage for all of their workers regardless of what trade or role they perform.

“What is new,” explains Keith Subryan, WSIB Director of the Employer Service Centre, “is the law has changed to include business owners as well.

“This means that in the construction sector most independent operators, sole proprietors, partners in a partnership and executive officers without workers will also need to have WSIB coverage. Executive officers and partners whose businesses are already registered with the WSIB also must begin to report their own earnings and pay premiums,” Subryan says.

There are exemptions for those who work exclusively in home renovation and for one designated executive officer or partner of a company who doesn’t perform construction work. Visit this website www.beregisteredbeready.ca to find out the details about these exemptions.

As well, on this site, you’ll see this question “What do you mean ‘construction’?’ Be sure you click on “construction” for a detailed list of what business activities are required to have coverage.

Registering is a simple online process that takes about 15 minutes.

The cost of coverage will vary from company to company. It depends on two things: the business activity and the insurable earnings of the individual.

The calculation is based on the premium rate per $100 for the business activity multiplied by earnings.

For example: Someone doing ‘mechanical and sheet metal work’ is in rate group 707, which has a premium rate of $4.16 for 2013. If their insurable earnings are $45,000, their total premiums for 2013 will be $1,872.

Here’s the way that is calculated: $45,000 insurable earnings x $4.16 / $100 = $ 1,872.

The WSIB wants to make sure that everyone understands his or her obligations under the law. Failure to comply with the new legislation is an offence. However, for the first year the WSIB won’t be prosecuting offences related to registration and clearance obligations under Bill 119.

In 2013, the focus on education and awareness. If the WSIB learns that someone isn’t complying, this year every effort will be made to ensure that those who aren’t registered understand their responsibility to register and have coverage.

The terms “clearance” and “coverage” are not synonymous and shouldn’t be used interchangeably.

A clearance is proof that a contractor is registered and in good standing with the WSIB. When a clearance is in place, the general contractor is not liable for any premiums or other amounts owed to the WSIB by the contractors or subcontractors they hire.

Before mandatory coverage came into effect, the onus to get a clearance from a contractor or subcontractor was on the general contractor. It was recommended but not mandatory.

Now that’s changed. WSIB clearances are mandatory starting January 2013. General contractors who hire contractors or subcontractors must require a WSIB clearance from them before any construction work can begin.

No coverage = no clearance = no work. It’s that simple. Now it’s the law.

Both the general contractor and the contractor or subcontractor have obligations for clearances.

  • General Contractors must get a clearance before contractors or subcontractors can begin any construction work.
  • Contractors must have WSIB coverage and report and pay their premiums on time so they are eligible for a clearance.

Change is never easy, but the WSIB has been working hard to make this transition easier for you. Through eServices on the WSIB website, you can get or check clearances, register, report and pay premiums 24/7, even on your cellphone.

Finally, it’s important to stress what you’re getting for your workplace insurance coverage in the construction industry. If people are injured at work, the WSIB offers a broad range of benefits including:

  • Wage loss benefits start the day after the injury
  • Benefits include Loss of Retirement Income paid to injured workers from age 65
  • All necessary and appropriate health care costs are covered
  • Work reintegration and retraining services are available if needed
  • Special allowances are paid to severely impaired workers including an Independent Living Allowance
  • Survivor benefits can include lump sum and monthly awards for spouses and dependent children plus all reasonable expenses for funeral and burial services
  • Access to construction-specific workplace health and safety training programs, products and services from Infrastructure Health and Safety Association (IHSA)

Editor’s Note: An earlier version of this story contained some erroneous and misleading statements, which have now been corrected. We apologize for any confusion this may have caused. January 11, 2013

Comments

  1. Terry Thomas says:

    I think that your article here is a little bit misleading. The people who will have to register for WSIB coverage and have proof of such are the independent operators, sole proprietors and executives who have been exempt from amadatory coverage to this point.The majority of construction workers are employees of a company who is already registered with the Board and it will reamin the responsibility of that employer to pay assessments. There will not be a requirement of every individual worker to go register with WSIB before they can work on a construction site.

    • Hi Terry, I think Ian also will respond and I responded to you on Linkedin but I wanted to thank you so much for your comment and we have looped back with WSIB and revised the article. We would never want to be misleading in any way and thank you so much for taking the time to comment.

    • Mike Erskine-Kellie says:

      Hi Terry,

      Sorry about the slow reply. We’ve spoken with our writer and he has gone back to WSIB and he assures us that they confirmed that everyone will require WSIB clearance.

      According to his information the only exception is one designate executive who doesn’t work on site, and home renovators.

      Otherwise, according to what he has been told by the WSIB, if a worker shows up to work on a site they must have WSIB clearance – and the general contractor or sub that they are reporting to must confirm the same.

      This wording is straight from WSIB themselves.

      Thanks.

      • Mark Redrup says:

        Sadly, you got it all wrong – again. It demonstrates a basic misunderstanding of the new ‘expanded compulsory coverage’ (aka The Great Ontario Gov’t Tax Grab), where the fundamental difference between ‘clearance’ and ‘coverage’ is completely missed. You have erroneously confirmed that the original information you provided to your readers is, in fact, correct. It isn’t. A good start would be to actually read the new rules and regulations provided by the WSIB. It is curious that a site that specializes in ‘safety’ doesn’t know what the Province’s safety goliath is on about.
        The comment by ‘Joanne’, below, is accurate.

        • Sandy Naiman says:

          Hi Mark,

          Thanks for taking the time to comment on this story. We appreciate your interest. The latest updates to this story were vetted by the WSIB last week. In it we’ve explained the differences between “clearance” and “coverage,” as follows:

          “The terms ‘clearance’ and ‘coverage’ are not synonymous and shouldn’t be used interchangeably. A clearance is proof that a contractor is registered and in good standing with the WSIB. When a clearance is in place, the general contractor is not liable for any premiums or other amounts owed to the WSUB by the contractors or subcontractors they hire.”

          I hope this will help to clear up this matter up for you. Since Tony Dean’s Expert Advisory Panel on Occupational Health and Safety, A Report and Recommendations to the Minister of Labour was released on December 16, 2010 containing 46 different recommendations, widespread changes are ongoing to improve workplace safety in Ontario under Ontario’s new Chief Prevention Officer George Gritziotis and his advisory council. They’re being introduced in stages, of course, and changes are always difficult to adjust to. That’s why the WSIB is not imposing fines this year, so construction sector business owners can learn more and become accustomed to this new requirement.

          We’re doing our best to keep you abreast of these changes and welcome your comments.

          Thanks for your input. We always learn more and benefit when we hear about your concerns.

          Best,

          Sandy Naiman

          • Mark Redrup says:

            Thank you for your reply. Mike Erskine-Kellie states ‘…if a worker shows up to work on a site they (sic) must have WSIB clearance’. They must, in fact, have ‘coverage’, because ‘clearance’ involves a certificate. A clearance certificate is provided by the employer. This has been the case for years. Pre-2013, owners/employers, as individuals, were not required to pay WSIB premiums. Now, said individuals are being forced to do so. That is what has changed, and very little else.
            If there are ‘widespread changes (that) are ongoing to improve workplace safety in Ontario’, it would be nice to know what they are. Ontario’s version of the WSIB is in a disgraceful funding position, unlike every other Province in this country, and there lies the crux of it. No mention of the $14.5 billion shortfall anywhere in your ‘story’.
            I would gladly stand corrected on all of the above.
            Regards,
            mr
            The Great City Of Guelph, ON

          • Sandy Naiman says:

            Hi Mark,

            Last Tuesday, January 22, on CBC radio in Ottawa, Bill 119: Cash Grab or Necessary To Employee Safety? was discussed with Juliette Forgues from the company Les Fondations Brisson Inc, and Ontario Minister of Labour Linda Jeffrey. I listened to it and thought you might find it interesting and informative. It addresses all your concerns.

            Best wishes and good listening,

            Sandy

  2. If the sole owner of a small limited company that does not employ workers is now required to pay dividends, is he now eligable to collect insurance if injured on a commercial site?

  3. We are owners of a corporation and operate an automotive repair shop – do we have to pay WSIB or is it just the owners of construction companies ?

    • If u work in ontario u pay

      • We are third party logistic company and we don’t own or have any equipment and we are very small operation…do we still have to pay for WSIB?

        • Mike Erskine-Kellie says:

          Hi wasim
          We have nothing to do with WSIB. We are an online magazine and write on a variety of job safety issues from across Canada. In this case, we have simply provided an article to help people understand some of the changes that WSIB has made.
          We are not experts in any one organization’s policies. We help our readers by getting information on subjects that will be of interest to a broad cross section of visitors to the site. But we certainly can’t speak for WSIB or anyone other than our own publication.
          Our best advice to your question is suggesting that your boyfriend gets in touch with the WSIB. Thanks.

  4. There are no changes for those construction workers employed by construction companies that are registered with WSIB.

  5. Yes, perhaps another money scam. Driving the little guys out of business. Good job Ontario.
    Private policies better and near half price. Somebody is making to much money!
    So in the last quarter we got a .5 safe work discount but our rates increased .25 (Thanks)
    Now as a owner of a small company I need to pay $10.00 per $100 to do quotes and paperwork were most office workers pay about $3.00. IS THIS RIGHT.
    Being in outside construction, I do not work in February but take a salary, (can’t get unemployment) am I to claim WISB for this month.
    I went to the WISB office but the rep. just flipped through some papers and said YUP ( he wants his raise too)
    Even in Ontario, this can’t be right. Any suggestions?

  6. It’s all to rip off “small people’s” their money that is hard to make. There was ever help from government but only to pay more and more for government. Where’s the justice in this country? Government supposed to help small businesses not to kill small businesses. This change will get a lot of small busniesses close down and a lot of people will loss their jobs because Government just want to get more money from us. Is this right? Yes it is.

  7. Back when I was an employee, I had two claims for WSIB, the first one was cut off after 3 days because they thought I was able to scramble from tug boat to barge with a cane. The second was cut off after 2 weeks even thought it took 3 months for me to be medically certified fit for work again. When I went out on my own, I took the optional insurance (I had no employees, just me) and paid my premiums every month. Then they sent me a bill for an exorbitant amount. When I protested, they ignored me and kept sending bills. They make all these rules and the only agency you can complain to is them. While they claim they are trying to eliminate the underground economy, they are actually forcing more companies into it. I maintained before that they were a waste of money and this does nothing to reinforce my opinion.

  8. I have a friend who is the sole-proprietor and only worker of a business and does work for other companies as a subcontractor, he wants to engage my boyfriend to do work for him as a subcontractor not an employee….he repairs hot tubs, spas and pools. Does this fall under the “contruction” trade? Do either of them require WSIB? I find all the terminology confusing. I just want to make sure that my boyfriend is doing things right.

    • Mike Erskine-Kellie says:

      Hi Erin,
      We have nothing to do with WSIB. We are an online magazine and write on a variety of job safety issues from across Canada. In this case, we have simply provided an article to help people understand some of the changes that WSIB has made.
      We are not experts in any one organization’s policies. We help our readers by getting information on subjects that will be of interest to a broad cross section of visitors to the site. But we certainly can’t speak for WSIB or anyone other than our own publication.
      Our best advice to your question is suggesting that your boyfriend gets in touch with the WSIB. Thanks.

  9. My spouse is a general contractor (sole proprietor) a one person business. registered in 2013 for WSIB because of the new legislation. His premium is 9.1% . As a one person business he normally calculates the total sale minus materials purchased minus expenses (office, vehicle etc) that is the money he takes home. I asked WSIB since he doesnt have a fixed salary how to calculate the premium it is based on the net (basically on the money he takes home) ? They told me no it is based on the total invoice there are very few major materials you can deduct.
    So if the sale is for $10,000.00 materials are $4,000.00 vehicle and other expenses let’s say being $2,000.00 his take home money will be $4,000.00

    With the new legislation in the same escenario sale $10,000.00 WSIB $910.00 (9.1% of 10,000.00) materials $4,000.00 other expenses $2,000. take home money will be $3,090.

    This is ridiculois!! It should be at least net of materials!!

    • Sandy Naiman says:

      Hi Gabriela,

      Thank you for writing and expressing your frustration and concerns about the changes in WSIB rules for business owners in the construction sector, especially for sole proprietors such as your spouse.

      We appreciate your taking the time to write and contribute to this dialogue. You’re an important part of this process. I hope you will continue to read and comment on all our stories, but I realize how close to the bone this one is for you.

      We’re learning all the time from readers’ comments such as yours and we’ll continue to share more as we learn more about these and other issues that affect the onwers and workers construction trade.

      Again, thanks for commenting.

      Best,
      sln

  10. Does employer should include in WSIB in 2013 if he is in payroll in his own company?
    Thanks!

    • Mike Erskine-Kellie says:

      Hi Jane,
      We have nothing to do with WSIB. We are an online magazine and write on a variety of job safety issues from across Canada. In this case, we have simply provided an article to help people understand some of the changes that WSIB has made.

      We are not experts in any one organization’s policies. We help our readers by getting information on subjects that will be of interest to a broad cross section of visitors to the site. But we certainly can’t speak for WSIB or anyone other than our own publication.

      Our best advice on your payroll question is getting in touch with the WSIB. Thanks.

  11. Collin Masonry says:

    I was injured last year and my son did most of the work. I paid him $30,000 with about $15,000 in expenses and net for myself $629.00. Hopefully this year will be better, but the new rules would have me paying 12.7% on my gross as a masonry contractor with my son as my partner or sub- contractor, amounting to a $5715.00 premium. We’re barely making it as it is. Robertson, philips and flathead them.

  12. I pay the candidate as per their Invoice for the IT services. Do i fall under WSIB ?

    • Mike Erskine-Kellie says:

      Hi Karthik,
      We have nothing to do with WSIB. We are an online magazine and write on a variety of job safety issues from across Canada. In this case, we have simply provided an article to help people understand some of the changes that WSIB has made.
      We are not experts in any one organization’s policies. We help our readers by getting information on subjects that will be of interest to a broad cross section of visitors to the site. But we certainly can’t speak for WSIB or anyone other than our own publication.
      Our best advice to your question is suggesting that your boyfriend gets in touch with the WSIB. Thanks.

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