By law, most businesses that employ workers (including family members and sub-contractors) must register with the WSIB within hiring 10 of their first full or part-time workers.

What is the purpose of Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB)?

The WSIB provides no-fault collective liability insurance and access to industry-specific health and safety information for employers; provides loss of earnings benefits and health care coverage for workers; and provides help and support for return to work after an injury or illness incurred by workplaces covered under the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act. The WSIB is entirely funded by employers.

Mandatory coverage in the construction industry

Most businesses in Ontario are covered by the WSIB. Under current legislation, independent operators, sole proprietors, some partners in a partnership and some executive officers who work in construction are required to have WSIB coverage.

Business owners and executive officers

If you do not work in construction, and you are a sole proprietor, partner, or executive officers of your business you are not automatically covered under the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act 1997 (WSIA), but you may apply for optional insurance.

Benefits of registering

By registering with WSIB and paying your premiums, your business is covered by the WSIB, which means you:

Protection from Lawsuits – WSIB benefits replace the worker’s right to sue the employer for similar benefits.

No-Fault Insurance – The WSIB generally does not consider who is at fault when determining benefits.

Workplace Insurance Benefits for Your Workers – WSIB insurance replaces lost earnings, covers health care costs resulting from work-related injuries and illnesses, and supports return to work.

Prevention and Training Programs – Workplace illness and injury doesn’t just hurt your workers: it can deprive you of essential staff and can seriously affect your company’s productivity. The WSIB and our prevention partners provide numerous training and education programs that help you prevent injuries and illness before they cost you money.

Help in Returning Your Workers to the Job – Getting injured staff back on the job sooner means your business can return to full productivity more quickly. It also means your insurance claim will be smaller and your premiums may be reduced. The WSIB claims management team will help you ensure that your worker gets effective health care and gets back to work as soon as possible.

Businesses that do not have to register

There are some businesses that do not have to register with WSIB, these include:

  • Banks, trusts and insurance companies
  • Computer software developers
  • Private health care practices (such as those of doctors and chiropractors)
  • Trade unions
  • Private day cares
  • Travel agencies
  • Clubs (such as health clubs)
  • Photographers
  • Barbers, hair salons, and shoe-shine stands
  • Taxidermists
  • Funeral directing and embalming

If you operate any of these businesses, you can still choose to insure your employees through the WSIB.

Optional Insurance

For individuals that are not automatically covered under the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act 1997, these individuals can choose to apply for optional insurance which provides all the same benefits and protections as those covered under WSIA

The following is a list of people that can apply for optional insurance:

  • Sole proprietors – Own your business alone (a non-incorporated business with no partners) and operate without others, except for the people you hire as employees
  • Partners – Own and operate your business together with one or more partners, though you may or may not share the business equally
  • Executive officers – Are the individual(s), that control the direction of the entire organization or key functions of the organization
  • Independent operators – Own a business with no employees

Information you will need to register

The first step in registering your company with the WSIB is gathering the necessary information. You should have the following information on hand in order to register for a WSIB account:

Company Information

  • Mailing address
  • Phone and fax numbers
  • Organization address
  • Account number of any prior registered accounts with WSIB
  • Legal name of company and trade name(s)
  • Copy of Articles of Incorporation or business registration form
  • Language Preference
  • Revenue Canada Number and/or GST number
  • Employer Health Tax number
  • A description of your business activity and proof
  • When you register with the WSIB, you will be asked to describe the product you produce, the goods you sell or the services you provide. Based on this information, the WSIB will determine your rate group. Businesses in a rate group share the same premium rate.
  • Bank name and branch
  • Address, phone & fax number of each operating location
  • Name, Location and Phone number for Contact Person for Payroll Records [if different from work location.]
  • Dates workers first employed
  • The number of workers
  • The estimated insurable earnings for the current year
  • Annual insurable earnings are the amounts usually reported on your workers’ pay or wage stubs and on T4 slips as gross earnings. These amounts include
  • Deductions for income tax
  • CPP and employment insurance

Insurable earnings can also include earnings not reported on a T4 such as room and board, bonuses and commissions

  • Name and Address of any associated employers/contractors, plus any account numbers, if possible
  • If more than one business activity, which is the predominant payroll
  • Do you maintain separate payroll records for each business activity?
  • Any associated employers
  • Name of competitors to verify accuracy of classification
  • Website/e-mail address

Owner/Executive Details

  • Name of Directors or Owner of the Company
  • Address of the Director/Owner
  • Birth date of Director/Owner
  • Social Insurance Number
  • Official Business Title
  • Proof of earnings (if requesting optional insurance)

Reporting incidents

You must report the incident to the WSIB within 3 days if your worker:

  • Loses time from work or
  • Earns less than a regular day’s pay or
  • Gets health care treatment

You do not need to report the incident if your worker only needs first aid.

You can wait on reporting the incident for up to 7 calendar days only if your worker:

  • Receives modified work at full pay and
  • Needs nothing beyond first aid

You must keep a record of the incident and what happens during the time your worker recovers. You must report workplace injuries or illness that go part the 7 calendar days of modified work.

What is the Maximum Insurable Earnings Ceiling?

For 2019 the maximum insurable earnings ceiling is $92,600, the MIE for 2018 was $90,300. Factors that affect the Maximum Insurable Earnings are:

  • Changes in average earnings in Ontario as measured by Statistics Canada, and
  • Provisions under the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act



contribution room


18% of previous year’s earned income, less any pension adjustment


$5,000 / year, subject to inflation adjustment after 2009 as stated by Revenue Canada

carry forward of unused contribution room


Unused contribution room carried forward until the year the contributor turns 71


Unused contribution room carried forward indefinitely

require earned income to contribute





age qualifications to make contributions


Any age until you reach 71


Must be over 18 and no maximum age

are contributions tax Deductible


Yes – reduces taxable income



tax implications on income growth


Tax deferred (not taxed until withdrawn)


Tax free (never taxed)

tax implications on withdrawals


Withdrawals are added to your taxable income in the year funds are withdrawn


Withdrawals are tax free

can i withdraw savings for any reason


Yes – but depending on kind of investment. Tax will be withheld at time of withdrawal


Yes – but depending on kind of investment. No tax will be withheld at time of withdrawal

am i required to change my plan at a certain age


Yes – RRSP must be converted to RIF or an annuity by end of the year you turn 71 or you can choose to close the plan



are there over-contribution penalty tax?


Yes – excess contributions are subject to a penalty tax of 1% per month. Penalty tax only applies if you exceed the $2,000 lifetime over-contribution amount


Yes – excess contributions are subject to a penalty tax of 1% per month