Domestic Workers



Full-time domestic workers are covered under Schedule 1 of the Act.


The WSIB provides coverage for domestic workers who are employed more than 24 hours a week by one employer. If the worker's hours vary--more than 24 hours most weeks, but 24 hours or less other weeks--the worker is continuously covered.


Domestic workers are directly hired and paid by private households. Domestic workers' primary activities relate to the operation of the employer's household.

Domestic workers who work

  • 24 hours a week or less for a single employer, or
  • more than 24 hours a week for two or more employers, but 24 hours a week or less for any one employer,

are not covered under the Act. These domestic workers may apply for optional insurance. (See 12-03-02, Optional Insurance.)

Who is a domestic worker?

The title, domestic worker, includes

  • babysitters, nannies, and nursemaids
  • bodyguards
  • butlers
  • chauffeurs
  • cleaning persons
  • companions (does not include attendants *)
  • cooks
  • gardeners
  • handy persons
  • housekeepers
  • maids

*For coverage of attendants to injured workers, see 17-06-05, Personal Care Allowance.


These guidelines also apply to domestics employed by religious organizations who work in the households of religious clerics.

Family members

Family members engaged as domestic workers in their own home for more than 24 hours per week are considered full-time domestic workers if

  • they are paid a stated wage
  • the employer makes normal deductions for Employment Insurance, Canada Pension Plan and income tax, and
  • the employer maintains wage records.

Duties outside the employer's home

Domestic workers are "in the course of their employment" (see 15-02-02, Accident in the Course of Employment) while doing job duties, authorized by their employers, outside the employer's home.

Foreign embassies/residences

Domestic workers employed in foreign government embassies or diplomatic residences located in Ontario are not compulsorily covered even if their employment may exceed 24 hours a week. The employer can apply for coverage. (See 12-01-02, Employer by Application.)

Shared employment

Shared employment is considered by the WSIB to mean employment of a domestic worker by two or more households where duties are carried out for more than one household at the same time.

If the shared employment is more than 24 hours a week in total, the parties to the shared employment are considered an employer and must register with the WSIB under a single account.


Two families employ a babysitter who works for Family A for 15 hours and Family B for 12 hours for a total of 27 hours. For 6 of those hours, the babysitter cares for the children of both families at the same time. This is considered shared employment by the WSIB. Both family A and B together are considered the employer and must register with the WSIB under a single account.

Employer's responsibilities

Employers of full-time domestic workers must register with the WSIB. For registration details, see 14-02-02, Registration and 14-02-15, Voluntary Registration.

Application date

This policy applies to all decisions made on or after January 1, 2003.

Document History

This document replaces 12-04-14 dated October 12, 2004.


Legislative Authority

Workplace Safety and Insurance Act, 1997, as amended
Sections 2, 74(1), 75(1)(2)(3), 76, 77, 78, 79, 151

O. Reg 175/98
Schedule 1


#4, September 25, 2007, Page 447