What a worker’s compensation board (WCB) is?
The WCB manages workplace insurance for employers and workers. In Canada, each province and territory has its own WCB that is a statutory corporation created by the provincial government.
Employers pay a WCB insurance premium which in turn provides compensation to employees for work-related injuries and occupational diseases. Compensation can be for lost wages, return-to-work rehabilitation and other health care costs related to the work-related injury.
There are legal requirements that must be met by all workplaces. These legal requirements are in the Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) regulations. The WCB is required to inspect workplaces to ensure companies are in compliance.
Not all companies require WCB coverage. Coverage depends on the type of business operating and whether or not the company has workers. Generally, if a business hires one or more workers, then it is required by law to register it with the WCB in its jurisdiction. Workers include employees (full-time and part-time), casual workers and contract workers. Incorporated companies are required to register for WCB insurance coverage if the company is actively engaged in business, regardless if there are no employees. However, some incorporated companies are exempt and include personal service corporations (assuming no workers), management corporations that are part of a related group of operating companies and personal financial holding companies.
In British Columbia, businesses are legally required to register with WorkSafeBC before they hire workers or contract out work. Failing to register can result in your business being fined, charged 100% for any costs related to a work-place injury or disease and paying retroactive insurance premiums. BC are based on earnings of your workers and a business’ classification. Businesses in similar industries are charged the same base rate. Base rates are based on claim costs for that industry group. Industry groups that have more claims have higher base rates. Your base rate is then either increased or decreased based on your business’ experience rating. If your business works safely, then you can earn a discount; however, if your business is less safe, then it may incur a surcharge.
Angela Hardbattle, Dipl. T (Hons), CPA, CA, Manager
Manager, Gilmour Group CPA’s
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