Almost all Canadian businesses must register with their provincial WCB (Workers’ Compensation Board) and pay workers’ compensation premiums. The specifics of workers’ compensation insurance may vary among provinces.
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What is Workers’ Compensation?
In a nutshell, workers’ compensation is an employer-funded insurance system that covers employees if they sustain workplace injuries or suffer from an occupational disease. Typically, workers’ compensation includes:
- Disability benefits
- Compensation for lost wages
- Medical and rehabilitation coverage
Workers’ compensation insurance plans are no-fault. That means that in case of an injury, the employer does not need to be guilty of negligence for the employee to receive compensation.
Nevertheless, the employer is responsible for acting appropriately to prevent injury and illness among the employees and report any injuries when they occur. The employer must also provide proper training for the employees’ health and safety and help recovering employees return to work.
Does Everyone Need Workers’ Compensation Insurance?
For most Canadian businesses, workers’ compensation insurance is mandatory. In some cases, independent operators with no employees don’t need to register with the provincial Workers’ Compensation Board.
The employer must make sure the workers’ compensation plan covers all employees, whether they are full-time, part-time, or contract workers.
In most provinces, hired proprietors have the same status as employees for workers’ compensation purposes unless they maintain their own WCB account. The employer is responsible for ensuring that the proprietor’s WCB account is valid.
If you are a new Canadian business owner currently hiring employees, check with your provincial WCB to make sure you comply with all your obligations regarding workers’ compensation.
What If My Business is Exempt?
Even if you discover that your business is exempt from mandatory workers’ compensation insurance by your province’s regulations, you might still consider purchasing coverage for yourself and your employees.
For example, in Ontario, private daycares, health care practices, and travel agencies are among the exempt industries, but insurance coverage is highly advisable for these businesses. Independent contractors may likewise find out that operating is much simpler when they purchase their own workers’ compensation insurance.
Workers’ Compensation Insurance Costs
Because the degree of work-related risk is different across industries, workers’ compensation premiums vary accordingly. During your registration with the provincial WCB, the board will determine your business’ industry.
Average workers’ compensation premium rates vary widely between provinces. For example, in 2021, Manitoba had a premium rate of $0.95 for every $100 of insurable earnings, while the corresponding rate in Nova Scotia was $2.65.
How Workers’ Compensation Insurance Benefit Employers
If you are an employer, proper registration with the WCB and providing workers’ compensation coverage are vital to protect your business from lawsuits and ensure your peace of mind. Other advantages of workers’ compensation insurance include:
- Workplace insurance benefits for the employees
- No-fault insurance
- Educational programs and prevention training to help workers avoid injuries
- Assistance for injured employees in the period of getting back to work
Even if your business operates in a low-risk industry, the consequences of an employee’s injury could be enormous, including extensive medical bills and rehabilitation costs, a lawsuit, and a tainted reputation. Workers’ compensation offers a safety net for both employees and employers.
Group Enroll: Find the Group Benefits Options You Need
Are you looking to offer your employees even more protection? Consider adding long-term disability coverage to your group benefits. LTD can be used to increase payments during the WCB period and even waive insurance premiums.
With Group Enroll, it’s easier than ever to receive quotes from major insurance providers. Simply fill out our request form and start comparing your options. We’re here to help you find a group plan that fits your needs, your company policy, and your budget.