Employer by Application


An employer may apply for Schedule 1 coverage if their operation:

  • does not fall under any of the industries listed in Schedule 1 or Schedule 2
  • falls under one of the industries listed in Part II of Schedule 1, or
  • falls under one of the industries listed in Schedule 2.

The WSIB may accept or deny an application at its discretion. An employer whose application is accepted is entitled to the same rights, and subject to the same obligations, as employers who are mandatorily covered under Schedule 1.


The purpose of this policy is to outline who may apply for Schedule 1 coverage, the conditions for applying for Schedule 1 coverage and the conditions and procedure for cancelling or renewing coverage.


Eligible for coverage

Those employers who are not mandatorily covered under either Schedule 1 or Schedule 2 under the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act, 1997 but who are eligible for by application Schedule 1 coverage include, but are not limited to:

  • banks, insurance companies, and trust companies
  • barbers and hair salons
  • membership organizations (such as labour organizations, professional associations, political organizations, etc.)
  • motion picture producers
  • offices of lawyers, dentists, medical doctors and veterinarians
  • photographers
  • radio and television broadcasters, or
  • touring and travel agencies.

The WSIB's Employer Classification Manual (ECM) provides descriptions of mandatorily covered, non-mandatorily covered, and non-covered activities. The ECM classifies these activities into classes and subclasses according to the principles set out in 14-01-01, The Classification Structure.

For information on the coverage status of a business activity, see the ECM.

Not eligible for WSIB coverage

The WSIB does not extend coverage, under any circumstance, to the following individuals:

  • foreign diplomats
  • competitors in individual or team sports
  • stunt performers, or
  • circus performers.

Employers or individuals whose business operations involve sports (e.g., coaches) or animal training may apply for coverage. If the WSIB grants them coverage it is with the clear direction that they are not covered when they or their employees compete or train for competition.


Horse trainers can apply for Schedule 1 coverage for their horse training activities, which may include riding horses. However, if these trainers also ride competitively in races, they are not covered while competing in a race. The WSIB will deny their claim if they are injured.

Optional insurance only

Independent operators, and partners not employing workers, who wish to obtain optional insurance and whose operations are not covered under Schedule 1 must make a request for by application coverage. This application must be made at the same time the application for optional insurance is made. For more information about independent operators, see 12-02-01, Workers and Independent Operators; for details on optional insurance, see 12-03-02, Optional Insurance, and 12-03-03, Who Can Obtain Optional Insurance?.

Unpaid trainees

For the policy addressing an employer's request for coverage in order to have unpaid training participants considered workers, see 12-04-05, Coverage for Unpaid Trainees.

Transfers from Schedule 2

Employers with operations that are mandatorily covered under Schedule 2 can apply to have their operations transferred to Part I of Schedule 1. As part of the application process, they must provide certain information that the WSIB determines is necessary to calculate a premium rate for them (e.g., insurable earnings in Schedule 2). After the information is provided and a premium rate is calculated, they must confirm they want to transfer. The transfer is effective on the date the WSIB receives their confirmation.

In exceptional cases, where the transfer of an employer could have a significant impact on the insurance fund, the WSIB may delay the effective date of the transfer.

For further information about the premium rate they are assigned when they transfer, see 14-02-01, Employer Level Premium Rate Setting.

After they transfer, they remain individually liable to pay all costs (including future costs) for work-related accidents that occurred while they were in Schedule 2. Employers who have transferred from Schedule 2 to Schedule 1 may request to return to Schedule 2 (see "Cancellation of coverage", below).

Private sector employers transferring to Schedule 1 will continue to be responsible for securing their Schedule 2 liabilities.

Coverage for part of an operation

For the policy addressing coverage for part of an operation, see 12-01-04, Coverage Status.

Municipality treated as the employer

For the purpose of this policy, municipal boards and commissions classified in the same business activity as the municipality shall be treated as if the municipality is their employer see 12-01-01, Who is an Employer?.

Exception to coverage of all workers

Upon initial application (or subsequent request), employers in the entertainment industry may exclude all of their actors and performers from Schedule 1 coverage. Coverage would be provided for all other workers. However, employers must retain, and submit upon request, employee records, which can be verified by the WSIB. Employers in this industry are expected to fulfill all WSIB obligations for those workers receiving coverage.

Conditions of coverage

To make an application

Applicants are required to submit an Employer by Application form, and follow the registration procedures for new employers. For more details about registration, see 14-02-02, Registration.

Period of coverage

Coverage begins on the date the WSIB approves the application for Schedule 1 coverage. Coverage remains in effect until the employer satisfies the conditions for cancellation of coverage (set out below), or until the business no longer employs workers.

Cancellation of coverage

Cancellation by WSIB

The WSIB may cancel an employer's by application Schedule 1 coverage when the employer's payment and/or reporting obligations have not been met, or when no reply is received in response to the WSIB's communication attempts, in situations such as:

  • mail is returned to the WSIB and no alternative address can be obtained
  • the employer cannot be located
  • the reconciliation form has not been submitted
  • premium or other payments are overdue
  • the WSIB has issued more than one provisional premium, or
  • the WSIB discovers the employer's reporting obligation has stopped (i.e. the business has terminated, is in bankruptcy or receivership, or is no longer employing workers).

The WSIB sends a registered letter to the employer advising that coverage will be cancelled unless the employer complies with directions to meet their payment and/or reporting obligations by the time stipulated in the letter (within 15 days from the date of the letter).

When an employer's coverage has been cancelled, either at the request of the employer or by the WSIB, the employer may reapply for coverage. Before the WSIB reinstates coverage for a previously registered employer, any previously unpaid amounts must be paid in full. It should be noted that during the period of time in which the account is cancelled, the workers would not be covered in case of a work-related injury. Once the employer re-applies for coverge and the WSIB reinstates the account, coverage for the workers begins from that time forward.

Requests to cancel coverage

Employers requesting cancellation of their by application Schedule 1 coverage must send a written request to the WSIB.

For employers whose business activities are not mandatorily covered under Schedule 1 or Schedule 2, their coverage will be cancelled effective the date the WSIB receives the request for cancellation. For employers who also have optional insurance, the coverage will be cancelled effective the same date.

For employers requesting to transfer back to Schedule 2, Schedule 1 coverage will also cease (and Schedule 2 coverage resumes) effective the date the WSIB receives the request for the transfer. For those who also have optional insurance, a consent form must be completed to continue optional insurance coverage under Schedule 2.

Payment on cancellation

For employers requesting cancellation, premiums are charged up to and including the last day that coverage is in effect.

For employers no longer employing workers, premiums are charged up to and including the last day the business employs workers.

All employers that had by application Schedule 1 coverage remain responsible for all amounts previously owing on the account(s), even though they no longer have Schedule 1 coverage.

Optional insurance only

By application Schedule 1 coverage ceases at the same time an employer with optional insurance only (i.e., an independent operator or partnership not employing workers) requests the cancellation of the optional insurance.

Providing notice to workers

Employers whose business activities are not listed in either Schedule 1 or Schedule 2 and who cancel by application Schedule 1 coverage are required to notify their workers that they will no longer have WSIB coverage.

Renewal of coverage

Employers who withdraw from by application Schedule 1 coverage may reapply for Schedule 1 coverage. The WSIB reserves the right to grant or deny coverage.

Application date

This policy applies to all decisions made on or after March 9, 2021.

Document History

This document replaces 12-01-02 dated January 2, 2020.

This document was previously published as:
12-01-02 dated June 1, 2005.
12-01-02 dated October 12, 2004.


Legislative Authority

Workplace Safety and Insurance Act, 1997, as amended
Sections 12, 74

O.Reg 175/98
Schedules 1, 2


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