Independent operators in construction

As of January 1, 2013, independent operators in construction must register with the WSIB, report their earnings and pay premiums.

The WSIB considers you to be an independent operator in construction if:

  • You perform Class G construction work.
  • You do not employ any workers.
  • You work as contractor or subcontractor for more than one person during an 18-month period.
  • You report as ‘self employed’ to a government agency, like the CRA.

OR

  • You perform Class G construction work.
  • You are an Executive Officer.
  • Your corporation does not employ any workers (besides you).
  • You work as contractor or subcontractor for more than one person during an 18-month period.

Under the new rules, you are now both a ‘deemed worker’ and a ‘deemed employer.’ This means that you will be covered by the WSIB as a worker and will have to report your earnings and pay premiums to the WSIB as an employer.

 

If you’re not sure how you’re defined under Mandatory Coverage, use the coverage tool on the home page to find out.

 

Or you can 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).

Exemptions

If the construction work you do is strictly home renovations and you are always hired and paid by the occupant or a member of their family, you are exempt. Please see our Home Renovation exemption page for more information.

Please note: If you are exempt, you will not be eligible to receive coverage benefits and support from the WSIB if you have a work-related injury or develop a work-related illness unless you have applied for optional insurance.

Now that You Know You need WSIB Coverage, What do You need to Do?

You Need to Register.

You can register online or over the phone. You’ll just need to have the following information ready:

Please noteyou will be asked to complete a Status Declaration to confirm your status as an independent operator.

You may also be asked to provide copies of invoices or other financial records to help us confirm that the construction work you are doing is correctly classified and that you meet the definition of an independent operator.

If you aren’t registered with WSIB, but have already started working as an independent operator, you will be required to pay any unpaid premiums when you register.

What Happens if you Don’t Register

It is an offence under the WSIA for a business/individual to do construction work if you require coverage but do not register. This means that:

  • You are committing an offence and  will be prosecuted as of January 1, 2014.
  • You will be required to pay not only for any unpaid premiums, but  will also face additional penalties and fines.
  • You will not be able to provide a clearance number, to prove that you have WSIB coverage and are clear to work.
  • The company that hired you can refuse you access to the job site until you have registered and can provide a clearance number.
  • The company that hires you can withhold payment.
  • If construction work goes ahead without you registering and providing a clearance number, then both you, and the company that hired you, will be committing an offence under the WSIA and  will be fined. The fine for a conviction of an offence under the WSIA is up to a maximum of $100,000.

Get more information on Penalties and Fines.

Have Questions?

If you have any questions, or would like more information, 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).

 

 You Need to get a Clearance Number Before you Start a Job

A clearance number confirms that you are registered with the WSIB and that your account is in good standing. We will provide you with a clearance number that you will need to give to the person/company that has hired you before you start work.

You can request a clearance number online, and we will send you a clearance number immediately, as long as your account is in good standing.

For your account to be in good standing, you:

  • Have registered with the WSIB and have provided all the required information.
  • Are classified in the right rate group for your business activity(ies).
  • Have filed all required premium remittance and reconciliation forms.
  • Have paid all premiums and any other amounts owing (like late fees, etc.).

For more information on how to report and pay your premiums, please see Insurable Earnings and Premiums.

What ‘Coverage’ Means for You

As a ‘deemed worker’ if you have a work-related injury or develop a work-related illness, you can depend on the WSIB to support you throughout your recovery, and help you get safely back to work.

Depending on your situation, we may provide:

  • Replacement of up to 85% of your net earnings starting the day after the injury.
  • Loss of retirement income benefit.
  • Coverage for health care costs.
  • Help getting you back to work safely, and retraining if necessary.

What to do if you have a Work-related Injury or Develop a Work-related Illness

If you have a work-related injury or develop a work-related illness, the accident or illness must be reported to the WSIB within 3 days if you:

  • Require health care, or
  • Need to take some time off to recover, or
  • Can only work partial hours, or
  • Do modified work for less than regular pay, or
  • Do modified work for more than 7 days.

You can report your injury or illness online or over the phone by calling 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).