If you are a new small business owner, or you are preparing to start your own business, you will need to know the basics of the Workplace Safety Insurance Board (WSIB) before you get started. In this blog, we have put together some answers to common questions that we get about WSIB.
What is WSIB?
WSIB provides injury and illness insurance for Ontario workplaces. The WSIB provides employers with no-fault collective liability insurance and workers with loss of earnings benefits and health care coverage in the event of a workplace accident or illness. The WSIB also provides help and support to get injured and ill workers back to work safely.
Most employers must register with the WSIB within 10 days of hiring their first employee.
How is WSIB Calculated?
Each industry is divided into a “Class” which has a pre-determined premium based on each class’ share of responsibility for the costs generated to maintain the insurance fund. This means that classes that have higher rates of injury (such as construction or manufacturing) have a higher premium than a class that has comparatively lower rates of injuries (such as those in an office setting).
The second factor that will influences your premium rate is the risk associated with your business specifically. Your premium may be adjusted based on how your risk and claims experience compares with the collective experience of their class. This means that if you have a higher level of claims, or more expensive claims than others in your class, your premium will go up.
A Class premium rate is expressed as a dollar amount per $100 of insurable earnings. For example, for Class K, Finance, Management and Leasing the 2020 premium rate is $0.90. In 2020, the maximum Insurable Earnings Ceiling was $95,400. For earnings over the maximum insurable amount, you don’t have to pay WSIB premiums for the rest of the year. Executive Officers such as CEOs are exempt from WSIB, and as such, WSIB premiums are not applied to their wages.
Who is Exempt from WSIB?
There are some industries that are exempt from WSIB including:
- Insurance Companies
- Trust Companies
- Credit Card Companies and other Financial Institutions
- Law Firms
- Real Estate Agencies
- Business Associations
- Recreational and Social Clubs
- Live Performance Theaters
- Computer Software Developers
- Private Health Care Practices/ Health Clubs
- Trade Unions
- Private Schools
- Recreational and Vacation Camps for Children
- Private Day Cares
- Travel Agencies
- Hair Salons/ Barbers
- Shoe Shine Stands
- Funeral Directing and Embalming
Employers in these industries may opt to be covered by WSIB voluntarily, may seek private insurance or may choose not to have any insurance coverage.
What do I do if an employee gets injured at work?
An employer must report a workplace injury to the WSIB within 3 days of learning about it if:
- The employee receives treatment from a health professional; or
- Takes time off work/is absent from work; or
- Earns less than his or her regular pay.
If an employee injures themselves at work, receives first aid attention at work, and then continues to finish their shift without losing any money, then this would not be an injury that needs to be reported to the WSIB.
If an employee’s injury meets the criteria listed above, then to report the injury to the WSIB you need to complete a Form 7, which can be found on the WSIB website. You will then need to manage the safe return of the employee to work ensuring that you follow the restrictions and accommodations required by their health care professional, or for more serious injuries, work with the WSIB case manager to return the employee to work. In every case, your goal is to return the employee to their pre-injury job as safely, and as quickly as possible.
All workplace injuries should be reported to the Health and Safety Representative or Joint Health and Safety Committee (whichever is applicable in your workplace). No personal information should be disclosed, however, the situation that led up to accident and the nature of the injury should be shared. The Health and Safety representatives should conduct an accident investigation and make recommendations to ensure that the same type of accident and injury does not occur again.
What is a Clearance Certificate?
A Clearance Certificate states that you are in good standing with WSIB and have paid all of your premiums. A customer may require that you provide them with a valid Clearance Certificate before your employees are allowed to enter their work site. If you are not able to provide them with a Clearance Certificate or other proof of insurance it becomes a liability issue for them, which means that they probably won’t allow you on their site without the proper documentation.
You probably have enough on your plate with all the details of running your small business. Get in touch with us if you want to leave the HR stuff to the experts so that you can focus on growing your business!