Your Guide: services and responsibilities – business edition
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?
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.
Small Business Health and Safety Program
Building Your Health and Safety Program is designed to help you understand your health and safety responsibilities, provide access to free, easy to understand health and safety materials, and save money.
Participating in the program can earn you a one-time seven per cent rebate on your previous year’s premium. You could qualify by meeting the requirements of our training program:
- attend all three in-class training sessions (each session is four hours)
- complete a self-evaluation, health and safety action play, inspection procedure and return-to-work procedure
The program includes a free two-hour health and safety information session where we:
- review your injury reporting and return-to-work responsibilities
- provide you with a package of health and safety posters and materials
- update you on new information from the Ministry of Labour and WSIB
- outline first aid requirements.
Once you complete the Building Your Health and Safety Program training, we can conduct a free assessment to help you manage hazards and reduce your risk by identifying any gaps in your health and safety program, providing an action plan to improve and provide ongoing support to help you grow your program.
Small Business Health & Safety Leadership Awards recognizes outstanding achievement in establishing health and safety programs in businesses with fewer than 50 employees.
Safety Groups Program
The Safety Groups Program is a voluntary program where businesses come together to share ideas and pool resources to improve health and safety performance. Each year, Safety Group members identify five elements of a workplace health and safety program to implement. If you can demonstrate successful implementation of the elements selected, you may receive a rebate of up to seven per cent of your premiums. Businesses can enroll in this program from October to mid-January. Read more about our health and safety community.
Our Workwell program looks at the health and safety and return-to-work performance of your workplace to see if we feel you would benefit from our support. If you are selected for the program, we offer you on-site assessments to identify gaps in your health and safety management system and assistance to identify priorities and develop implementation plans.
Our free, easy-to-use Workwell app is a tool you can use to self-evaluate your health and safety management system. You can download the app through the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store.
Responsibilities: what is expected of your business?
Health and safety
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.
- 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 (PDF). 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.
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:
- 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
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.
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
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.
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
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.
- The first step to compliance is knowing what the law requires. Find information about the Employment Standards Act at:
- A new guide for prevention of common soft tissue injuries is now available for Ontario businesses. Access the guide to understand and learn how to prevent MSD in the workplace.
- Coming soon: Compass will be available from the WSIB online services menu, giving each business exclusive insights to their detailed claims, costs, premiums, and rates. Watch this space for a new, secure login coming late 2019.