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In return for registering with WorkSafeBC, firms are insured against lawsuits from injured workers. Unlike most private insurance plans, there's no limit to the amount of coverage a business receives. In the case of a severe injury or death, which could cost a firm several million dollars, liability coverage is a valuable benefit. WorkSafeBC ensures that all workers in the province are protected from economic hardships caused by work-related injuries or diseases. When a worker is injured on the job, wage loss and medical costs are covered by WorkSafeBC.
Injured workers are typically entitled to 90 percent of their average net earnings at the time of their injury, up to an annual maximum, after statutory contributions are deducted for income tax, Canada Pension Plan and Employment Insurance. In addition, rehabilitation and retraining costs needed to return a worker to work are paid by WorkSafeBC. If a worker is injured or contracts an occupational disease while on the job, WorkSafeBC covers the worker's medical and wage-loss costs.
All your paid workers are covered by your insurance, including:
If you are required to register and don't, you could be charged retroactive premiums. Also, if one of your workers is injured at work, you could be charged the total compensation cost related to that injury.
Virtually all employers in British Columbia are required by law (under the Workers Compensation Act) to register for insurance with WorkSafeBC. This includes employers in home-based businesses, as well as some contractors, subcontractors and people who are hiring workers such as:
Although registration is not mandatory, it is permitted. If you don't qualify for WorkSafeBC insurance, you and your workers are covered by the prime contractor's insurance. The prime contractor is then responsible for paying premiums and reporting any work-related injuries.
Labour contractors include unincorporated individuals or partners who:
No. In fact workers cannot register or waive their rights to compensation. A worker is anyone employed full-time, part-time or casually, and who is paid a wage, salary or commission by the job, or on a piecework basis. This includes administration, management and clerical staff as well as labourers.
If you take on the role of a general contractor in the construction of your own home, you are required to register, particularly if you hire workers, such as casual labour, to clean up around your site. Registration may be required, even if the subcontractors you hire carry their own coverage. Contact the Employer Service Centre for details. You can also check the registration status of subcontractors working for you by getting a clearance letter.
Probably. To be sure, contact the Employer Service Centre. Remember, even if you hire subcontractors who carry their own coverage, you should ask for their WorkSafeBC account number. You can verify that they are registered by getting a clearance letter.
You can request a clearance letter that tells you whether a firm, contractor or subcontractor is complying with our registration and payment requirements.
The requirement for registration is based on the number of times your business comes (or intends to come) into B.C. This is the criteria for registration:
Registration is required:
For more information, contact the Employer Service Centre to determine your registration requirements.
Note: there are special requirements for out-of-province trucking firms. See trucking industry.
If you have workers and your business is active in B.C., meaning your firm distributes T4s and remunerates workers, you are required to register. All company shareholders who are actively working in your business are considered to be workers under the Workers Compensation Act and are covered under your company's WorkSafeBC account.
If a B.C. workers is injured while working in another province, WorkSafeBC will cover the workers' medical and wage loss costs if:
If you have operations outside of B.C. and are insured by WorkSafeBC, it doesn't remove your responsibility to comply with the workers' compensation laws in other provinces, in the territories, or in other countries. Check with the other jurisdictions where you’re operating.
If you are not automatically covered under the Workers Compensation Act, you may be able to apply for Personal Optional Protection (POP).
POP insurance is an optional insurance program for:
Apply for optional coverage online, or download the Personal Optional Protection insurance application package
The package contains both the registration and POP forms, which can be returned by mail or fax, or in person at any WorkSafeBC office.
Mail the forms to:
WorkSafeBC, Assessment Department
P.O. Box 5350, Station Terminal
Vancouver, BC V6B 5L5
or fax them to 604.244.6490.
Make sure you sign the form and carefully read the terms and conditions of the coverage. Individuals or firms who aren't required to register but would like to anyway may be able to purchase voluntary coverage. Contact the Employer Service Centre for more details.
You're exempt if:
Partners and proprietors
You're exempt if:
Personal financial holdings
You're exempt if:
Once you are registered, you pay premiums that are directly related to the industry you're engaged in and the amount of your payroll. Premiums are paid annually or quarterly, depending on your account.
If your registration is denied because you're a worker, it means your employer is responsible for your coverage.
Most employers, and individuals who want personal coverage, can apply for coverge online, the fastest way to complete your registration. Complex registrations may be followed up with a call from the Employer Service Centre.
No. For security reasons, you must enter all information and submit the completed form at one time. If you are interrupted while applying, you may have to re-enter the data, since all information is deleted after 20 minutes of inactivity. None of the information you've entered is stored online.
Note: Using the "back" button on your browser will not return you to the information you entered in previous pages. The pages will appear as blank and the information will have to be re-entered.
Yes. For further details, read our security policy.
While applying online is the easiest and fastest way to get insurance, you can also:
If you apply online:
If you registered by mail or fax:
Premiums are directly related to the industry you're engaged in and the amount of your payroll. Premiums must be paid annually or quarterly.
The quickest and easiest ways are to report and pay online from the comfort of your own computer, or by calling our automated phone system at 604.244.6181 or 1.888.922.2768.
If you prefer, you can use the forms we mail you during the year to report you payroll. If your premiums are $1500 a year or less, you'll need to submit the Employer Payroll and Contract Labour Report once a year along with your payment. If your premiums are more than $1500 a year or your work in certain industries, such as forestry or trucking, you'll be required to submit four payments with your Employer's Remittance Forms, as well as a year-end payment with your Employer Payroll and Contract Labour Report if required.
No. It's against the law to deduct premiums from your workers, either directly or indirectly
If you disagree with a classification decision, you may request a review from the Review Division within 90 days of the date of the decision.
If you have questions about the decision, you may ask to have it clarified by the Assessment Department. If additional information comes to light, the department may reconsider its decision at any time.
Workers' compensation coverage extends to those employed past age 65. Universal coverage is a basic principle of workers' compensation law in B.C., and includes those who work past the standard retirement age of 65.
Employers must pay assessment premiums for all workers, no matter their age.
The duration of temporary/permanent disability payments may be affected by a worker's age at the date of injury, where the date of injury is on or after June 30, 2002. Generally, entitlement to WorkSafeBC wage loss and pension benefits end when a worker reaches 65, or, where the worker is 63+ on the date of injury, two years after that date.
The legislation, however, lets WorkSafeBC pay benefits beyond age 65 where evidence verified by an independent source confirms a worker's intent to work past 65. Where WorkSafeBC is satisfied a worker would have continued working past 65 had the injury not occurred, wage loss payments may continue past that age until the date a WorkSafeBC officer has established as the worker's retirement date.
Section 23.1 of the Workers Compensation Act states if a worker is less than age 63 on the date of injury, wage loss and pension benefits continue until 65 or a later retirement date as established by WorkSafeBC. If a worker is 63+ on the date of injury, compensation continues for two years from that date or a later retirement date as established by WorkSafeBC. Entitlement to benefits ends if a worker's disability resolves prior to age 65, or the expiration of the two-year period.
Please note that under the former provisions (legislative/policy provisions that applied to injuries that occurred prior to June 30, 2002) temporary disability benefits didn't stop at age 65, and certain permanent disability benefits continued for the worker's lifetime.
The payment of WorkSafeBC benefits isn't affected by the abolishment of mandatory retirement. WorkSafeBC currently covers workers employed past age 65. Benefits may be paid to workers over 65 where sufficient evidence to establish the worker's intent to work past that age is established.
Section 23.1 of the Workers Compensation Act recognizes 65 as the standard retirement age of workers in B.C. Statistics Canada data supports the general view that, on average, workers retire at or before age 65.
Policy provides examples of evidence that may assist WorkSafeBC establish a retirement date for workers 63+ on the date of injury (RSCM Policy item #35.30, Duration of Temporary Disability Benefits; RSCM Policy item #41.00, Duration of Permanent Disability Periodic Payments), including:
A retirement benefit is compensation set aside by WorkSafeBC for workers entitled to permanent disability benefits and is in addition to those permanent disability periodic payments. A worker may also choose to contribute some of his/her permanent disability periodic payments to the retirement benefit.
The retirement benefit is paid as a lump sum when periodic permanent disability benefits cease (age 65, or the retirement date determined by WorkSafeBC). If a worker dies before 65, the retirement benefit is paid to a named beneficiary/estate.
Retirement benefits are intended to compensate a worker for the impact the worker's permanent disabilities have on his/her ability to accumulate retirement savings (see section 23.2 of the Workers Compensation Act, and Chapter 18 of the RSCM for details on retirement benefits).
The Employer Service Centre can help you determine your registration obligations. Call 604.244.6181 or 1.888.922.2768 during regular business hours.
For web site technical support call our Customer Support Centre at 604.276.3135 or toll-free 1.888.855.2477 between 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. (PST), Monday through Friday, or e-mail email@example.com.