Independent operators in construction

If you are the sole proprietor or sole executive officer of a corporation, the WSIB considers you an independent operator in construction if you meet the following criteria:

  • you perform or manage Class G construction work (see details in the employer classification manual)
  • you do not have employees
  • you work as a contractor or subcontractor for more than one person during an 18-month period
  • you report as ‘self-employed’ to a government agency, like the Canada Revenue Agency

This means that under the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act, you are required to have coverage with the WSIB and will have to report your earnings and pay premiums to us.

If your business only does home repairs or renovations on private residences where you are hired and paid directly by the homeowner or resident, then you do not need to be covered by us. However, you must still have coverage for your employees.

Calculating insurable earnings

Businesses in construction must calculate the amount of premiums owed, and report and remit the amount to the WSIB.

Premium = Insurable earnings x premium rate ÷ 100

Here’s how:

  1. Your insurable earnings are based on the amount you bill for labour in paperwork such as invoices and contracts for both residential and commercial work.
  2. Calculate your total amount billed as labour (up to the annual maximum) for each reporting period (e.g. quarterly or monthly). This figure represents your insurable earnings.
    • where an independent operator provides labour only, use 100 per cent of the contract value
    • where an independent operator provides labour and also supplies major materials, but records do not adequately verify the labour portion, use 60 per cent of the contract value to determine insurable earnings
    • where an independent operator provides labour and heavy construction equipment with or without major materials, use 33.3 per cent of the contract value to determine insurable earnings
  3. Multiply your insurable earnings by the premium rate found on your premium rate summary statement.
  4. Divide the number by 100. This will give you your total premium payable for the reporting period.
  5. If your actual earnings turn out to be different than the amount you reported, please contact us and we can help.

For a complete listing of what is considered major materials and heavy construction equipment, please refer to our insurable earnings – construction policy.

If you no longer meet the criteria of an independent operator in construction or you have begun exclusively performing home renovation work, you may request to close your account and end your coverage. Your account may be closed if:

  • you are working alone with no employees
  • you are hired and paid directly by the homeowner or resident
  • you have met the three-month minimum period of coverage as an independent operator

Your coverage and payments continue until we receive a request to end coverage that meets eligibility requirements. We will not retroactively apply the coverage exemption, except when a business has closed. If you meet the home renovation exemption, please ensure you contact us within 10 business days or you may be required to report your insurable earnings.


Your WSIB premiums are used to pay benefits for people who are injured or become ill in the workplace. Learn more about your premium and payment obligations, how and when to report and pay or check out our FAQs for additional detail.