We understand the impact a workplace injury or illness can have on a business and its employees and we’re here to help. Making sure people have the support, care and expertise they need to recover and return to work is what we do.

This guide will help you understand the services we offers as well as your responsibilities as an Ontario business. This guide does not list every service we offer or every responsibility you may have – it is meant to provide you with answers to some of the most commonly asked questions we know many people have about the WSIB. All of our decisions are based on the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act, 1997 (WSIA) and our policies.

Services: what do we offer?

Workplace insurance

With WSIB coverage you:

  • get affordable workplace coverage you can rely on to protect you and your employees
  • are guaranteed no-fault workplace insurance that protects you from costly court  settlements for your employees’ workplace injuries and illnesses
  • receive important services and support when you need it

Health and safety services

By participating in our voluntary programs, eligible businesses can improve workplace health and safety, which can lead to a reduction in premiums.

Health and Safety Excellence program

Keeping your team and customers safe and healthy is good for business. Our Health and Safety Excellence program provides a clear road map for businesses to improve workplace safety, whether they are just getting started or want to optimize systems and processes they already have in place.  

  • The program is flexible and businesses can enroll at any time. It is tailored to individual business needs across different sectors and helps foster a culture health and safety and improve outcomes. 
  • The program connects businesses of all sizes with WSIB-approved providers that will help you develop health and safety measures that are suitable for your business.  
  • The program has 36 topics spread across three levels – foundation, intermediate and advanced – to help develop and integrate health and safety into workplaces and take a business from awareness to excellence. Our pandemic readiness materials can help meet the challenges of operating safely during a pandemic and reduce COVID-19 related hazards in the workplace. 
  • It also helps businesses achieve best practice standards, including the Chief Prevention Officer’s accreditation program, Supporting Ontario’s Safe Employers (SOSE). 
  • Businesses that are successful in the program can earn rebates and other non-financial recognition for their investment in health and safety.

Responsibilities: what is expected of your business

Health and safety

First aid

As a business covered by the WSIB, you are required to have first aid equipment (including a first aid station that is easily accessible) and trained people in all workplaces. Visit our first aid program webpage for further information.

Health and safety training

Under the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA), every employee and supervisor is required to complete health and safety awareness training. You can access training free of charge through the Ministry of Labour or through one of the WSIB’s various programs.

There are other health and safety resources available to businesses through the Ministry of Labour and Ontario’s four Health and Safety Associations (HSAs).

It is your responsibility to provide hazard information and post the WSIB 1-2-3-4 In Case of Injury at Work poster in a visible location.

For more information on a range of health and safety topics, see health and safety.

Workplace injury or illness

Reporting an injury or illness

Businesses must report a work-related accident to the WSIB if you learn that an employee requires health care and/or:

  • is absent from regular work
  • earns less than regular pay for regular work (e.g. part-time hours)
  • requires modified work at less than regular pay
  • requires modified work at regular pay for more than seven calendar days following the date of accident (in this case, the reporting obligation begins on the eighth day of modified work)

Businesses are not required to report a work-related accident if the employee:

  • receives only first aid
  • receives first aid and requires modified work at regular pay for seven calendar days or less, following the date of accident
  • does not receive first aid, but requires modified work at regular pay for seven calendar days or less, following the date of accident

You must report the injury or illness to the WSIB by submitting a Form 7 within three days of learning of your employee’s injury or illness. You can submit the form online through our online service for injury or illness reporting, or via mail or fax. Please see injury or illness reporting at WSIB for details.

Please see the COVID-19 FAQs for updates about time limits related to the Government of Ontario’s COVID-19 Declaration of Emergency.

  • It is against the law to discourage your employee from reporting a workplace injury or illness to the WSIB, or to influence them to withdraw or abandon their claim. To make sure you know and are complying with your responsibilities, check out the injury or illness reporting self-evaluator (PDF).

On the day of injury, you must:

  • pay your employee their full wages and employment benefits as if the injury had not occurred.
  • pay for, or provide directly, transportation to send your injured employee to the proper medical facility to receive treatment, if necessary.

Employer requested health examinations

You may ask that your employee be examined by a health professional that you choose and pay for. The examination must only relate to the injuries, diseases or conditions for which the individual is claiming benefits. The selected health professional must provide a copy of the health examination to the WSIB. See more on health examinations.

Return to work

Supporting recovery and return to work

As a business, it’s your responsibility to stay connected with your employee and to help ensure they return to suitable and available work. This includes:

  • contacting your employee as soon as possible after the injury or illness
  • maintaining appropriate, and regular, communication with your employee throughout their recovery and return to work
  • providing suitable work that is available and within your employee’s functional abilities, and restores as much of their pre-injury earnings as possible

You may ask your employee's treating health care provider to complete a functional abilities form. This is an optional form designed to support return to work by helping you and your employee identify suitable jobs that they are able to perform.

See additional details about your responsibilities as your employee returns to work.

Re-employment obligations

Legally, you must re-employ your employee if they are able to perform the essential duties of their pre-injury job or another suitable job in your workplace as long as it is safe to do so. This obligation exists under the following circumstances:

  • the employee, as a result of their work-related injury or illness, is absent from work, or works less than regular hours, and/or requires accommodated work that pays, or normally pays, less than their regular pay
  • the employee has been continuously employed by you for at least one year before the date of injury; and
  • you regularly employ 20 or more employees

See more information on your responsibilities in the return-to-work process, and our approach to job accommodations (PDF).

If you are a business in the construction industry, other re-employment responsibilities apply. Please see our policy on re-employment in the construction industry for more information.

Managing your account

Reporting and paying your premiums

The premiums you pay to the WSIB are used to pay benefits for employees who are injured or become ill in the workplace. Premium reporting and payment is a two-step process.

First, you need to report your payroll. You can do this by using our online service for premium reporting or by submitting a premium remittance form by mail or fax.

Second, you need to make a payment. You can pay your premiums using:

  • online or telephone banking through your financial institution
  • online service for premium reporting (Visa or MasterCard credit card, Visa Debit, Debit MasterCard or Interac Online) through our online payment partner, Paymentus*
  • cheque. Mail the bottom part of your premium remittance form with your cheque to the address on the remittance form stub. You can use the pre-addressed envelope that comes with your form. Please write your account number on your cheque and allow extra time for processing if using this option
  • you can also pay at a WSIB office. We accept cheques, certified cheques and money orders however cash is not accepted

* Paymentus will charge a 1.75 per cent service fee for Visa or MasterCard credit, Visa Debit, and Debit MasterCard payments. Interac online can be used free of charge.

To correct or adjust premiums reported on remittance forms contact us. Adjustments may be made at any time in the current year.

The frequency of your reporting will depend on the value of your payroll. See our reporting and payment schedule.

Keep us updated

You must let us know of any changes to your business within 10 calendar days. You may provide us with this information by telephone, fax, mail, or email.

Types of changes you must tell us about include:

  • ownership
  • address and phone number
  • type of work your business does
  • legal, trade or business name
  • or, if you stop employing all of your employees, or your business closes

Please see the COVID-19 FAQs for updates about time limits related to the Government of Ontario’s COVID-19 Declaration of Emergency.

Third party representation

You have the option to use a third-party representative to provide advice and assist you in doing business with us. Authorized representatives may receive verbal or written information (e.g. copies of claim file documents) and represent you during the appeals process.

To grant access to your representative, complete a Direction of authorization – employer accounts form (PDF). Authorized representatives are licensed under the Law Society Act or are exempted from the requirements of that act.

Our code of conduct for representatives sets out the standards of behaviour we expect from representatives of businesses and representatives of those who experienced a workplace injury or illness.

Clearance certificates

If you are a contractor or subcontractor, you may obtain a clearance certificate to demonstrate you are registered with the WSIB and are ‘in good standing’ (meaning you report and pay premiums on time). Businesses rely on clearances to avoid liability for insurance premiums owing in connection with the work or services being performed.

If you directly retain a contractor to perform construction work you must obtain a clearance certificate that confirms the contractor is in good standing with us. You and the contractor must ensure that a clearance is obtained before the construction work begins and that a clearance remains in effect for the entire time the contractor is performing the work. Get a clearance through our online services for clearances.

Responsibilities in the construction industry

Coverage in the construction industry is mandatory and reporting your payroll may be done differently. To learn more, visit mandatory coverage in the construction industry.

Schedule 1 and 2 businesses

Most businesses we cover fall under Schedule 1, but some industries fall under Schedule 2. Examples of Schedule 2 organizations are from the federal, provincial and/or municipal governments. Learn more about Schedule 1 and Schedule 2.

Decision-making

Sharing information

You are required to share any information the WSIB needs to make decisions about your account or claims that occur. This includes providing us with any information requested concerning your employee’s return to work.

We may conduct an audit to ensure accurate payroll reporting, proper classification and injury and illness reporting.

Questioning a WSIB decision

We carefully consider all available information with any decision we make. As a business, you may sometimes have questions or want to object to decisions about your account or an employee claim. The following outlines how you may proceed with an objection:

About your account

If you object to a decision related to your account (e.g. classification, assessable earnings or penalties related to discouraging injury or illness reporting), you may request a reconsideration by the decision maker, and provide any new or additional information that you may have.

If you are still not satisfied and want to continue with your objection, we will provide you with a form. Once the form is received, it will be reviewed again by a front-line decision maker. If there is no change to the original decision, we will forward the form to our appeals division.

About an employee claim

You may also ask the WSIB to reconsider a previous decision about an employee claim. You may do so if new or missing information becomes available or you feel that a piece of information should be looked at again.

In this case, submit an intent to object form (PDF).

If you continue to be dissatisfied after the original decision maker has provided their reconsideration, you may file a formal appeal with us.

The detailed processes surrounding appeals of these issues can be found in the appeals services division practice & procedures (PDF) document; however, please keep in mind:

  • You must indicate, in writing, your intent to appeal within 30 days for return-to-work, work transition and re-employment decisions and six months for all other decisions

Please see the COVID-19 FAQs for updates about time limits related to the Government of Ontario’s COVID-19 Declaration of Emergency.

If you would like to further challenge the decision made by the WSIB about your appeal, you can ask the Workplace Safety and Insurance Appeals Tribunal (WSIAT) to review the decision. WSIAT is a separate and independent adjudicative body.

If you need more assistance

The Fair Practices Commission is the organizational ombudsman for the WSIB. The commission provides an independent, neutral and confidential service for people injured at work, businesses and service providers who have concerns about the fairness of the service, or treatment, received from us. You can find more by calling 416-603-3010 or toll-free 1-866-258-4383.

The Office of the Employer Adviser provides Ontario businesses with expert, free and confidential advice, representation and education on all workers’ compensation issues under WSIA, and on unjust reprisal issues under OSHA. For more information call 1-800-387-0774.

Please contact us for further questions.

It is better for everyone when we treat each other with courtesy and respect. Find out more about the behaviours we expect from our employees and from you.

Additional resources

Decision-making

See our guide for people who have been ill or injured at work.