Penalties and fines

The Workplace Safety and Insurance Act 1997 (WSIA) doesn’t just determine who needs to have coverage with the WSIB, it also determines the consequences for people who don’t comply with the law.

If a construction business/party being hired is not registered with the WSIB, there is no way for him/her to have a valid clearance number to start work.

A clearance number proves that a construction business is registered with the WSIB and that their account is in good standing. This means that all the information an employer (including an independent operator) needs to report, such as payroll/earnings, has been submitted and all payments due have been received by the WSIB in full and on time.

Under Bill 119 Mandatory Coverage, both the hiring party and the party being hired are responsible for making sure that a valid clearance number is in place for the full length of a job.

If a business isn’t registered, the WSIB can’t give them a clearance number certificate.

Therefore, it is very important for a construction business/party being hired to be registered and for their account to remain in good standing with the WSIB.

Please see Who needs a clearance number for more information.

Contractor (party being hired)

Are you registered? Is a valid clearance number in place? Has construction work begun? What are the consequences to you? How do you comply?
No No Yes You must register now, and you will have to pay back premiums before you will be eligible for a clearance number.The company that hired you could refuse you access to the job site or withhold payment until you register and provide a clearance number.If you don’t register, you could be charged by the WSIB for failing to register and for working without a clearance number. The maximum fine upon conviction is $100,000 for each offence. Register with the WSIB now. Have a valid clearance number for the full length of each construction job.
Yes No Yes You could be charged with an offence for working without a clearance number. The maximum fine upon conviction is $100,000. Have a valid clearance number for the full length of each construction job.
Yes No No None, since construction work hasn’t started. Have a valid clearance number for the full length of each construction job.
Yes Yes Yes None – you are in compliance. Ensure that you have a valid clearance number for the full duration of each construction job.
No No No None, since construction work hasn’t started. You need to register with the WSIB before you start your first construction job. Have a valid clearance number in place for the full length of each construction job.

Purchasers of construction services

Is your contractor registered? Is a valid clearance number in place? Has construction work begun? What are the consequences to you? How do you comply?
No No Yes Your contractor must register now, and provide a valid clearance number before construction work continues.You may be required to pay for unpaid premiums your contractor should have paid on the work they did for you.You and your contractor could be charged by the WSIB with an offence for working without a clearance number. The maximum fine upon conviction is $100,000. Ensure your contractor registers right away. Have a valid clearance number for the full length of each construction job.
Yes No Yes Your contractor must provide a valid clearance number before construction work continues.You may be required to pay for unpaid premiums your contractor should have paid on the work they did for you.You and your contractor could be charged by the WSIB with an offence for working without a clearance number. The maximum fine upon conviction is $100,000. Ensure you have a valid clearance number for the full length of each construction job.
Yes No No None, since construction work hasn’t started. Ensure your contractor registers right away. Have a valid clearance number for the full length of each construction job.
Yes Yes Yes None – you are in compliance. Ensure you have a valid clearance number for the full length of each construction job.
No No No None, since construction work hasn’t started. Let your contractor know that you need them to be registered with the WSIB, and that you need a valid clearance number before construction work begins.

Have Questions?

If you’d like more information on coverage and how it applies to you, please see our FAQs, our Administrative Practice Documents, send us an email at needWSIBcoverage@wsib.on.ca or call us Monday to Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. at 416-344-1000 or 1-800-387-0750 (TTY 1-800-387-0050).