Reducing WSIB rates for self employed contractors in Ontario
A private members bill that would reduce Ontario WSIB premiums for owners/operators passed first reading earlier this month.
December 30, 2014 by Alec Caldwell
If you are an employer in the construction industry in Ontario, how would you like a two-thirds rate reduction in your WSIB premiums?
That could be reality IF a private members’ bill (Bill 155) to amend the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act, 1977, passes at Queen’s Park. It’s only a first step, but the Bill passed first reading on Dec. 12.
The bill was introduced by Ontario Liberal MPP Laura Albanese.
The amendment provides that the rate used to calculate the premium to be paid by employers in the construction industry in respect of independent operators, sole proprietors, partners in partnerships and executive officers of corporations must be one-third of the rate used to calculate the premium to be paid in respect of workers. Meaning a two-thirds rate reduction, which would be great news and makes sense.
Let’s be honest, how many of you self-employed contractors, if injured, will stay at home and make a claim? Jobs have to be completed on time and, as you know if you run your own business, staying home sick is NOT an option!
And the WSIB knows this. Mandatory WSIB for owners and operators, brought in under Bill 119 in January 2013, was basically a ploy to raise revenue. WSIB knew that you independent owners and operators would not be making claims. WSIB premiums for owners and operators provide cash in WSIB’s bank as the agency slowly pays down its billions in unfunded liabilities.
The introduction of mandatory WSIB does not make job sites safer. It only increases costs for consumers and puts contractors at a competitive disadvantage against illegal cash operators.
We need to make the construction market fairer and make it a level playing field for everyone. The way I see it, the companies following current laws are being hammered by having to pass on extra costs like mandatory WSIB. We had already become tax collectors by way of the HST. And earlier this year, even contractors trying to take a coffee break were being hassled for their Ontario College of Trades credentials at (at least) one Tim Hortons location in the province.
In spite of the Liberal majority at Queen’s Park, all contractors need to speak up against underground-feeding agencies, policies and bureaucracies.We have the support of MPPs like Laura Albanese, on the WSIB bill above, and we have the support of MPP Garth Dunlop (Simcoe North) who has been particularly strong in opposing the OCOT – as well as on the WSIB issue.
Thanks to all our readers in 2014 and especially to all those who have posted comments. We always need your feedback, your views and your honesty. KEEP them coming.
May 2015 be a brilliant year for all of you!
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Alec CaldwellAlec Caldwell is the Founder of CARAHS, a Health & Safety Organization. We are approved providers by the Ministry of Labour (Ontario) to teach Working at Heights Training (Pro#34609) Visit the Ministry of Labour's web site to view our listing
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