The following is a letter received from an Ontario renovator. He is now in the grip of the WSIB and asks a question regarding the renovator exemption. We’ll follow up with a call to WSIB, but in the mean time, if there is any comfort, advice or information you can give him, here’s your chance.
To the editor:
Our number came up and we were randomly selected by WSIB to be audited. While we are an above board company, we have not always be fully diligent receiving all the clearance certificates and are worried that we are going to be back-charged for any smaller sub-trades who may not be registered.
This whole process got me to thinking about the bill 119 regarding mandatory coverage for construction owners. I heard that renovation companies are exempt. But if I read the FAQ on the WSIB website regarding this issue, it seems to suggest that the exemption is only for one renovator per company. Any additional partners must pay with the proviso of one additional exemption. (Please see the second half of the answer below.)
To me this means that if a company has two or more equal partners who all work some of the time on the tools, only one will be exempt and the rest will pay. The answer also says that the additional exempt individual can never spend a day on the site; so when times are busy or when a partner is on holidays we have to stay off the site or fudge our records and hope we don’t get hurt. Is that how you would read this?
I would call and ask, but they always ask for our account number and I don’t want to be flagged. It is great to have a government agency that we are forced to pay into, but that everyone is afraid to use…
Here’s what the website says:
Q. Who is exempted from Mandatory Coverage in the Construction Industry?
A. There is an exemption for Home Renovators who are contracted directly with the person occupying the residence and work exclusively in home renovation. Businesses are also allowed to select one executive officer or partner to apply for an exemption from coverage. This must be an individual who does not perform any construction work on any building site (including on-site supervision).
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