Ontario WSIB: Your top 5 questions answered
By Sean Baird, VP Employer Service, WSIB
This article from the WSIB contains important links to key information sources
By Sean Baird, VP Employer Service, WSIB
Editor’s Note: Recently Ontario’s WSIB offered to share with us 5 of the most commonly asked questions about their services. Here is the article. For further information, or if you have any questions, please contact the WSIB directly.
We know the impact a workplace injury or illness can have on a business and its employees. Making sure people have the support, care and expertise they need to recover and return to work is what we are all about.
Each day, the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) receives hundreds of questions from Ontario businesses. We’re happy to answer all your questions and we’re working hard to make it easier for you to make the most of your coverage with us. We’re starting by making the information you look for the most easily available. Here you’ll find answers to some of the most common questions we get asked.
Who needs to be covered under WSIB?
It’s important to know that you are responsible for insuring anyone you employ in your business, including family. This includes full-time, part-time, seasonal or temporary employees, students, apprentices, learners and training participants. It also means you – if you are an independent operator, sole proprietor, partner or executive officer in the construction industry. See mandatory coverage in the construction industry for exceptions. Please also see policy 12-02-01 Workers and Independent Operators.
I paid my monthly premium based on my payroll. Is it necessary to report my premiums as well?
Yes, reporting and paying premiums is a two-step process. You calculate and make your premium payment based on the gross payroll. Reporting your premiums means you are telling us your payroll information and the total of all insurable gross earnings for people who work for you that you are responsible for insuring, so we can record your payment against that premium. For a schedule of our important dates, see reporting and payment dates.
Who do you consider a ‘principal,’ and who do you consider a ‘contractor’?
Any company that hires a person or another company to do work for them is called a ‘principal’, the company being hired is called the ‘contractor’. For example, if company A hires company B to provide janitorial services for them, company A is considered the principal, and company B is considered their contractor. If company B then hires company C to do a portion of the janitorial work, like window washing, then company B is considered both a principal and a contractor at the same time.
You are responsible for including the labour portion of your contractor’s contract as gross insurable earnings when you calculate your premium payment, if they do not employ others, and the WSIB does not consider this contractor to be an independent operator. Contact us to confirm their status and be sure to keep copies of WSIB letters of confirmation.
What’s a ‘clearance certificate’ and why do I need one?
Clearance certificates prove you have WSIB coverage and your account is up-to-date. Clearances are important if another business hires your business to do work for them, or their client. It enables them to avoid liability for any premiums you may owe related to work done for them. Clearances are mandatory in construction, unless you are hired and paid directly by a home owner to do home renovation work only. A clearance is valid for up to 90 calendar days, and is renewable.
What do I do if an injury or illness happens?
Each day across Ontario, people work in offices, construction sites, factories, warehouses and farms safely. But when a workplace accident happens, we are here to help.
Our 1-2-3-4 in case of injury poster outlines each of the steps, including providing first aid and paying for your employee’s transportation to health care, if required. You must also investigate and keep a record of what happened. If your employee needs more than first aid, is absent from work, earns less than regular pay, or requires modified work for more than seven days you are required to submit an Employer’s Report of Injury/Disease (Form 7) within three days of being notified of their injury or illness. It also means working together with us and your employee to help them recover and return to work safely and at the right time. For detailed information on injury or illness reporting see wsib.on.ca/reporting.
If there is a fatal or catastrophic accident at your workplace, call us at 1.800.387.0750.
We recently developed two guides – one for businesses and the other for your employees. The Business edition lets you know about the programs and services that you can take advantage of to improve your workplace health and safety and covers your responsibilities as well. You can view both guides online at wsib.on.ca/yourguide. Our website has a host of information to help you get the most from your WSIB coverage.