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Spend two minutes reading this and avoid hefty Ontario WSIB fines for non-compliance!

Alec Caldwell has summarized Ontario's new WSIB rules in an article that you can read in 120 seconds. It might save you tens of thousands of dollars in fines for non-compliance. READ THIS NOW if you don't yet understand WSIB's new powers.

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January 22, 2014 by Alec Caldwell

As I’m sure most of you in Ontario already know, effective January 1, any contractors or subcontractors who have not registered with the WSIB and who continue to work without a valid clearance certificate number may face serious penalties and fines. Generally, anyone who purchases construction services or hires contractors without confirming the contractor has a valid clearance certificate number may also be subject to both penalties and fines.

More specifically, failure to comply with these new requirements may result in the person being prosecuted under the Provincial Offenses Act. A person being convicted can receive a fine not exceeding $25,000 or imprisonment not exceeding six months or both. A corporation is liable to a fine not exceeding $100,000 upon conviction for each offense. In addition, Section 141 of the Act provides that the person who directly retains the contractor or subcontractor who fails to pay WSIB premiums or who has outstanding amounts owing, may be deemed to be liable.

“Construction” refers to any of the business activities listed in Class G in the WSIB Employer Classification Manual. These include: Electrical and Incidental Construction Services, Mechanical and Sheet Metal Work, Inside Finishing, Industrial, Commercial, and Institutional Construction, Roofing, Form Work and Demolition, Home building, Siding and Outside Finishing and others. Any unregistered business will need to pay back premiums.

Home Renovators Exemption:

Occupants of private residences (and their family members) who hire contractors to do home renovation work are not required to get a clearance number. A contractor will qualify for the home renovation exemption and will not be required to have WSIB coverage for himself ONLY this contractor performs exclusively home renovation work 100 per cent of the time. However, if the business employs workers, it must register with the WSIB and have coverage for its workers or sub contractors.

And if at a private residence, this sole contractor is asked to complete a basement for commercial works, like an at-home hairdressing salon or an at-home insurance office, and is paid by company cheque, this would be considered a commercial property and a loss of his personal WSIB exemption would occur. 

If a property owner or a landlord (someone who owns the house but does not live in it) hires you to work on their residential property, this work is not considered exempt home renovation work under the Act. This loss of exemption applies to independent operators, sole proprietors, partners in a partnership or executive officers in a corporation.

Remember, our article is for general information purposes and is not intended as legal advice. Consult WSIB for your unique situation.

CARAHS is a non-profit association for renovators and home services providers. We offer education, information and benefits.

CARAHS offers over 90 Health and Safety e-courses online here.

Toll free 1 866 366 2930


Alec Caldwell

Alec Caldwell

Alec 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)

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4 Comments » for Spend two minutes reading this and avoid hefty Ontario WSIB fines for non-compliance!
  1. John Stefanits says:

    Whatever happened to the petition to repeal Bill119? I would like to introduce a Bill to our members of provincial parliament requiring them to pay WSIB coverage as well ! I feel it only fair for them to face the same “real world” challenges as us independent contractors.

  2. Alec Caldwell says:

    Rob…..we’re right behind you. Lets kick up a storm and stop this crazy situation that in unfair and is helping to grow the underground market.

    More importantly, its forcing more government onto the self employed in the home renovations industry and services. They are already burdened down and have to take on huge risks on every job they take on.

    They have no retirement pensions, no unemployment insurance, no health benefits and don’t have all the safety benefits I mentioned, but the very unions I believe pushed this through and voted for this to law to come into force have it all and they are trying to put the squeeze on the self employed contractor business owner. In my opinion those self employed individuals will in most part never make claim, as jobs and deadlines have to be met.

    It is my opinion it was the unions who voted this through to squeeze the self employed.

    Basically its about paying in to something (WSIB) you’ll very rarely claim for. What a unfair way to burden the self employed to help WSIB to pay down their huge billion of dollars debt they created. Do it on the backs of the self employed individual. Make them the donkies for your governmental past civil servants bad decisions. Who also enjoy benefits without risk.

    That why the top guy at WSIB got a huge bonus of over $200,000 for his idea.

    What a rip off and lets do this Rob. Lets get this moving more. Tell contractors your idea to make it an election issue,

  3. Jim says:

    It is about time you guys got back on board about protesting this evil, blood sucking , cash grabbing pain in the a__ . Sorry I don’t think I’m allowed to type that word. LOL This whole WSIB thing is freaking out my home owner customers where they don’t know who to hire for there work to be done. Its been a slow winter. The election idea is the way to go Robert, but will they listen???? . As far as the government is concerned , its off there books and being looked after by all the small contractors in this province. So what do they care? Just my thoughts.