Choosing the Alternative is a Bad Choice
Consider the alternatives to Workers’ Compensation in Canada before you start cursing. What would you do if one of your employees was hurt on the job? Could your company afford to cover their medical bills, as well as any damages given by the courts, as well as the costs of rehabilitation?
What if more than one employee is hurt on the job? Workers’ compensation insurance protects employers from lawsuits brought against them as a result of employee injuries. It protects your company from lawsuits and offers compensation to employees who are injured on the job.
As an employer, your responsibilities include collaborating with employees to prevent illness and injury, reporting injuries, and assisting injured employees in returning to work.
As opposed to federally administered workers’ compensation, provincially administered workers’ compensation varies from province to province and territory to territory. As a result, the exact nature of which businesses are required to carry workers’ compensation insurance and which businesses may elect not to carry workers compensation insurance varies from province to province and territory to territory.
In Canada, who is required to register for workers’ compensation benefits?
Generally speaking, if your company is incorporated or if you have any employees, you must register with your province’s Workers’ Compensation Board or WCB (as well as pay Workers’ Compensation insurance premiums). Unless they have workers, sole proprietors or independent operators who operate unincorporated enterprises are not required to register for Workers’ Compensation insurance, though they may choose to do so as an optional policy.
Although this is not always the case, in the Northwest Territories, all businesses must register with the Workers’ Compensation Board (WCB) within 10 days of starting operations, even if the business has no employees, because you cannot obtain a business licence unless you have a certificate of compliance from the WCB.
It’s possible that you’ll need workers’ compensation insurance.
Regardless of whether you are exempt.
There are some industries that are excluded from having to carry obligatory Workers’ Compensation insurance. Computer programmers, private health care practices such as those of doctors and chiropractors, private daycares, travel agencies, photographers, and taxidermists are among the industries that are exempt from the tax in the province of Ontario. If an industry is exempt in one province but not in another, you should double-check with your provincial workers’ compensation board to be sure.
Even if Workers’ Compensation insurance is not required by law for your company, you may still want to consider purchasing it on your own initiative. Contractors may find that principals prefer to deal with contractors who have their own Workers’ Compensation insurance, and certain organizations may require confirmation that you have your own coverage if you are a subcontractor.