What is WSIB Insurance?
The Workplace Safety & Insurance Board, or WSIB, is the insurance company which protects Ontario employers from liability against work-related diseases and injuries. The WSIB administers the insurance, while the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act, 1997 ("WSIA") governs the plan.
Do I need to register with the WSIB?
If you are in a covered industry, and you hire any workers - even family members, apprentices, or interns - you must register with the WSIB within 10 days of hiring.
What is a Covered Industry?
"Covered industries" are defined in Schedules 1 and 2 of the WSIA, and include mining, manufacturing, transportation and storage, retail, wholesale, construction, railways, and telephones. You can find a complete list of covered industries on the WSIB website.
It may not always be clear whether your particular work falls under a covered industry. In that case, it would be wise to seek qualified legal advice as to whether you must register with the WSIB.
Who is a Worker?
A "worker" is a person employed under a contract of service or as an apprentice. It includes virtually every kind of employee, save for outworkers, casual employees for work outside the employer's industry, or independent contractors (i.e. someone who agrees to perform a discrete job for payment). Importantly, virtually anyone working in the construction industry is considered a worker.
A warning to employers - you cannot remove your employees from the WSIB scheme by simply calling them "independent contractors". The WSIB may look at the substance of the relationship to determine the actual nature of the relationship. For more information on this distinction, see our page on independent contractors .
Can I apply for WSIB coverage if I am not in a covered industry?
Yes. Many industries, such as financial institutions, real estate, social clubs, private schools, children's camps, health clubs, and even law firms are not covered industries. Employers in any of these non-covered industries can apply to the WSIB for coverage. If your application is accepted, your business will be treated just like a business in a covered industry.
What is the risk of not having WSIB coverage?
If you do not have WSIB coverage, you may be putting yourself and your business at risk of liability in the event that one of your workers is injured on the job.
If you are in a covered industry and one of your workers is injured, the worker will still be able to apply for WSIB benefits. If the WSIB finds that the worker is entitled to coverage, you and/or your business may be penalized for failing to register your business. The penalties can be very severe: corporations can be fined up to $100,000 per offence, while individuals can face up to a $25,000 fine and up to six months' imprisonment.
What can Hyde HR Law do for my company?
The lawyers at Hyde HR Law are experienced employment lawyers with the skills and resources to advise your business about its WSIB rights and obligations. We have the knowhow to guide you through the complicated WSIA, and in the event of any dispute, to defend your business before the WSIB. Our services are integrated, making us a one-stop-shop for all other human resources matters Contact us today.