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Bill 119-Mandatory WSIB Coverage for the
Construction Industry



The Ontario government has now confirmed that mandatory coverage of WSIB premiums for independent operators, partners and sole proprietors in construction will begin on January 1, 2013.  The legislation also effects some executive officers and directors.


Independent operators, executive officers and partners in a partnership working in construction who have no workers will need to have WSIB coverage starting in 2013 and can choose to pre-register now for coverage that will take effect in 2013. The pre-registration is free and there are no premiums to pay until 2013.


The link below will guide the reader to the WSIB web site to initiate pre-registration:   




Executive officers, partners and sole proprietors who are already registered with the WSIB and those who have WSIB optional insurance do not have to pre-register and WSIB will notify existing registered employers accordingly on how this legislation will effect them. 


With respect to owners, partners, and executive officers, WSIB previously permitted these individuals to exempt themselves from WSIB insurance coverage if they had met previous WSIB guidelines. This will not longer be the case and WSIB will be providing additional clarification and exemptions in the months to come.


However, the Act does allow the Lieutenant Governor in Council to make regulations to exempt certain partners in partnerships and certain executive officers of corporations from mandatory insurance coverage.  In determining any possible exceptions, WSIB will examine the following. 


These factors are not all encompassing:


  • The minimum number of executive officers in the corporation.
  • The nature of the work performed by the partner or executive officer.
  • The size of the partnership or corporation.
  • The number or the manner of determining the number of partners of a partnership or executive officers of a corporation.

For example, if a company has three owners who are currently exempting themselves from coverage, the company may only be required to remit one owner for remittance purposes.  In this case, if the owner's earnings were $150,000, remittance premiums would be capped at $81,700 (the WSIB maximum insurable earnings ceiling for 2012).  As mentioned, WSIB is still reviewing the guidelines for exemptions which will come into effect 2013.


Bill 119 makes insurance coverage mandatory for independent operators, partners and sole proprietors in the construction  industry.  It is anticipated that approximately 90,000 independent operators in the construction industry may be impacted by the new legislative requirements.


Mandatory insurance coverage and the registration requirement will not apply if the only construction work is home renovation work performed in specific circumstances.  Section 7 of the Act defines home renovations as construction work that is performed,


  • By an independent operator, a sole proprietor, a partner in a partnership or an executive officer of a corporation, and;
  • On an existing private residence that is occupied or is to be occupied by the person who directly retains the independent operator, sole proprietor, partnership or corporation, or by a member of the person's family.

Person(s) who directly retain a contractor or subcontractor to perform construction work will be required to obtain a certificate showing that the contractor or subcontractor has registered with WSIB and is in good standing with their WSIB account. 


For further information regarding mandatory coverage please click on the link below:


 http://www.wsib.on.ca/en/community/WSIB/230/ArticleDetail/24338?vgnextoid=494b82bd67344310 VgnVCM100000469c710aRCRD


We will provide future updates to employers as additional information is made available by WSIB. 


Should you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact our office directly.




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Greg Sathmary

Direct:     613.260.0600

Toll Free: 1.800.660.3554