If you run a business in Canada and you are an employer of labour i.e you hired people to work for you in your company, and have registered your business with the Workers’ Compensation Board (WCB) of your province and paid the Workers’ Compensation insurance (WCI) premiums, then this article is for you!
Although many employers are often reluctant to accept workers compensation plan, it’s a blessing in disguise. If one of your employees, is injured on the job, you may be required by the court to pay damages or medical bills, of which you cannot afford.
Workers’ Compensation insurance make sure you are protected from such claims resulting from injuries to employees. It protects your business from lawsuits and provides employees with compensation for on-the-job injuries or mishaps.
The Principle of Workers Compensation in Canada
The Workers’ Compensation Act is anchored on the Meredith Principle, put up by then renowned Chief Justice of Ontario, Sir William Meredith, in his report on workers’ compensation more than Eighty (80) years ago.
The four aspects of the principle are:
- That employer or business owner shoulders the direct cost of compensation, receiving protection from lawsuits emerging from injuries
- Workers relinquish the right to sue their employers and receive compensation payments at no cost for work-related injuries
- Fault and negligence for the cause of injury are not considerations;
- A system administered by a neutral body (i.e Workers’ Compensation Board (WCB) would have exclusive jurisdiction over all matters ensuing out of the enabling legislation.
Your Responsibilities as an Employer
Your responsibilities as an employer, (besides registering your company with the appropriate WCB and paying premiums), are to work with staffs to prevent injury and illness and to report injuries and assist injured employees to return to work.
Workers’ Compensation is not administered federally but rather done by the province where your business is located, which means that provinces or territory may have to decide on the conditions or principle guiding Workers’ Compensation insurance.
Who Can Register for Workers’ Compensation in Canada?
Basically, if you have any employees in your business that is incorporated, you must register with the WCB your province and pay Workers’ Compensation insurance premiums.
Independent operators or sole proprietors or running unincorporated businesses with no staffs or employees don’t have to register for Workers’ Compensation insurance.