Bill 119 Changes Mandatory Workers’ Compensation Coverage in Ontario’s Construction Industry
Effective January 1, 2013, the Provincial Government of Ontario implemented Bill 119, which changes the mandatory workers’ compensation coverage for companies in the construction industry. Bill 119 modifies the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act of 1997 by now requiring the following types of companies to obtain workers’ compensation coverage:
- Independent Operators
- Sole Proprietors
- Partners in a Partnership
- Executive Officers in a Corporation
Bill 119 also further increases the responsibilities of both principals (clients) and contractors to obtain proper clearance from the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) of Ontario before providing services.
“If a contractor does not have a clearance, the principal may refuse entry to the jobsite. It will be an offence for a contractor to perform construction work for a principal without a valid clearance in place. Also, principal companies who purchase construction services must require all contractors/subcontractors to have a WSIB clearance before work starts. Failure to do so is an offence.” – WSIB
While these changes took effect January 1, 2013, if WSIB finds that clearances are not being requested or provided correctly, they will take the opportunity to educate companies rather than enforcing offences. Offences will be enforced beginning in 2014.
WSIB has created a website, www.BeRegisteredBeReady.ca, to serve as the central source of information regarding the required coverage changes.
If you are unsure if your company is required to obtain workers’ compensation coverage through WSIB, please contact WSIB at 1-800-387-0750 or visit www.wsib.on.ca.