Coverage for unpaid trainees

Businesses, or placement hosts in most industries that take on someone as an unpaid trainee are required, by law, to register with us and have WSIB coverage for any trainees accepted for placement along with their employees.

A training agency arranges vocational training or provides vocational services and could be a:

  • public or private educational institution
  • private vocational school
  • person, partnership, organization, trade union etc.

A placement host is an individual, organization or company that takes on someone as a trainee to give them work skills and experience.

Who pays the insurance premiums: placement host or training agency?

The placement host pays the premiums since they oversee the trainee’s daily activities, if they:

  • must have their employees covered by the WSIB  by law,
  • have applied to have their employees covered by the WSIB

Unless the:

  • placement host works in an industry that does not require coverage, or
  • training agency volunteers to pay the premiums, or
  • government agency involved funds the coverage premiums

As a placement host, how do I make sure trainees are covered?

  • ask if the training agency that supplies your trainees is paying or willing to pay the premiums, or
  • ask the training agency if this training program has government funding for the premium costs, or
  • you may pay for the WSIB coverage yourself, or
  • you can refuse to accept the trainee placement

How much do the premiums cost for trainees?

Trainees are covered at 35 per cent of the total annual maximum, which is updated each year. Here are the steps for calculating the premiums payable for each trainee:

Step 1:    (annual maximum x 35%) ÷ 260 work days = daily rate
Step 2:    days worked x daily rate = insurable earnings
Step 3:    (insurable earnings x premium rate) ÷ 100 = premium payable to WSIB

Does the placement host’s responsibility end if the training agency agrees to pay the premiums?

The placement host is not responsible for paying WSIB premiums for trainees only as long as someone else (training agency or government) provides the WSIB coverage for the trainee. If the training agency or government stops paying, the responsibility transfers to the placement host.

If the training agency or government funded program pays the premiums, the placement host should regularly confirm that this arrangement continues.

What if the training agency or government funded program stops paying premiums for a business?

The placement host must pay for WSIB coverage for the trainee during the placement, if they are required by law to have WSIB coverage.

Businesses that are not required to provide coverage for their employees are encouraged to apply to the WSIB for coverage. Trainees with no WSIB coverage, whether they have private insurance or have no insurance at all, may seek legal action against their employers in the event of a workplace injury or illness. Trainees who are not sure if they are covered can contact us.

For more information, see our policies on coverage for unpaid trainees and individuals on unpaid training placements