What is WSIB?
Workers Safety & Insurance Board (WSIB) also referred to as Workers Compensation Board in the past is an organization managed by the Government of Ontario. The purpose of WSIB is to provide benefits as payments and services to any workers who may have been injured at the workplace or suffered any illnesses while at work. In some cases, WSIB may even help employees return to work with modified job duties or help them cover your medical expenses for that illness or injury.
How does WSIB work?
All employers eligible for WSIB pay insurance premiums which gets contributed to a province-wide fund. This premium amount is based on Employers gross payroll less any salaries for directors, multiplied by the industry rate. Each industry has their own rate which is determined by the accident experience and the nature of the business. For example, any business that requires workers to operate in more dangerous environments can expect their rate to be much higher. A good example would be Landscapers vs. an Accountant’s office. You should expect the Landscaping company to pay a higher premium compared to the Accountant’s office.
In summary, the purpose of WSIB premiums are to protect both the employers and the employees, in addition to providing a safe workspace for all employees. For any circumstances if there is a filed claim, the primary goal is for both the employer and employee to cooperate and work towards getting the employee back to their job as soon as practicable.
Do I need WSIB?
For most industries and business, it’s mandatory they setup WSIB and report premiums on a monthly, quarterly or annual basis. The determining factor is if your insurance earnings are less than $20,000, you file Annually. Insurable earnings under $1 million – you file quarterly. Insurable earnings over $1 million – you file monthly. However, for some industries, it’s voluntary if you wish to enroll or register for WSIB services. To find out you can either call WSIB and answer their questionnaire over the phone to determine whether you’re required to register for WSIB or an easier solution is to fill out their online questionnaire to determine WSIB eligibility by visiting this link.
WSIB Clearance Certificate
Especially in the construction industry, it’s very common for employers to receive WSIB clearance certificates. The clearance certificate acknowledges Employer’s WSIB account is in good standing and all outstanding premiums have been paid. While bidding for any commercial/industrial construction contracts, one of the key requirements the bidder requires is that all contractors must have WSIB accounts and have valid clearance certificates, allowing for a safe work site.
What type of Worker’s Compensation benefits am I eligible for?
As an employee, you’re entitled to compensation no matter who is at fault. However, the primary deciding factor of your claim is based on the legitimacy of the injury. It’s very important you complete Form 6 in any case of an injury in order to apply for workplace insurance benefits. As an employer, your key responsibility is to keep up with your premiums which protects you from the unfortunate case of an employee willing to sue you for unsafe work environments or injury at the workplace.
All employers must keep their payroll records up to date in order to complete their premium reporting in a timely manner without resulting in late penalties. In addition, annual reconciliations should be completed by the 3rd month following the end of the year. The purpose of annual reconciliation is to verify all insurable earnings have been accounted for and it ties into your annual payroll amounts.