Document name
Employer Classification
Document number
POL 14/2011

Effective date: January 1, 2012

Application: All employers.

Policy subject: Rate setting, classification, and experience


To provide guidelines on the industry classification structure.


Policy section content
Section detail

Industrial Undertaking means the work, trade, or service in which an employer is engaged (i.e., the primary business activity of the employer).

Industry Classification means the major industrial sector that best reflects an employer’s industrial undertaking or primary business activity.

Industry Rate Code means a collective liability grouping comprised of employers with a similar industrial undertaking or injury experience. All employers with the same rate code pay the same industry premium rate.

Industry Premium Rate means the rate applied to all employers within a rate code expressed as a dollar amount for every $100 of assessable payroll.


Policy section content
Section detail
  1. Section 20 of The Workers’ Compensation Act, 2013 (the “Act”) provides the WCB exclusive jurisdiction to determine whether any industry or worker is within the scope of the Act and the class to which it is assigned.
  2. Section 119(1) of the Act authorizes the WCB to “establish any classes of industries that it considers necessary for the purposes of this Act.”
  3. Section 19 of The Workers’ Compensation General Regulations, 1985 (the “General Regulations”) establishes that an employer who operates in more than one industry may be registered in more than one rate group.
  4. Section 5 of The Workers’ Compensation Miscellaneous Regulations states:
    Unless the employer applies to the board in the manner set out in the Act, the Act does not apply to work performed in the operation mentioned in clause (b) if an employer is carrying on both: 
    (a) an operation that is within the scope of the Act; and
    (b) an operation that is not within the scope of the Act.
  5. Section 138 of the Act states:
    It is not necessary that the assessment levied on the employers in a class or subclass of industries be uniform.
    (3) The board may fix the assessment on an employer in relation to the hazard found in the type of work or in relation to the hazard in any of the businesses included in the class or subclass


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Classification – General

  1. The Workers’ Compensation Board classifies employers based on the nature of their industrial undertaking. Each industry classification includes all occupations within the industry.
  2. The following factors shall be considered in determining an employer’s classification:
    1. the nature of the service or product provided;
    2. the process involved in providing the service or manufacturing the product;
    3. the customers and competitors of the business;
    4. any other information the WCB requires to gain a complete understanding of the business.
  3. Employers are assigned the industry rate code that best represents the industrial undertaking of the employer. All employers with similar industrial undertakings are classified in the same industry rate code since they are generally exposed to similar risks and hazards.
  4. Where an industry rate code is not clearly or easily determined, the WCB will assign the rate code that most closely represents the industrial undertaking of the employer.
  5. Where the industrial undertaking of a business is such that it does not align with other classifications, or the group of employers with the same industrial undertaking is not large enough to support its own rate code, injury experience may be considered and the employer(s) may be classified with other employers with a similar risk profile.
  6. Where two or more legal entities contribute to one business in the production of goods and services, the WCB will assign the same classification to each firm, regardless of ownership.

Employers Operating in More than One Industry

  1. The WCB will only consider providing more than one industry classification to an employer where the business operations are distinct and independent. This means:
    1. The industrial activity is not an extension of or incidental to the employer’s other business, and is not provided primarily to benefit the other business;
    2. Each industrial activity is independently viable with distinct sources of revenue; and
    3. Staff or personnel, excluding administrative staff, are not working in both businesses at the same time and the earnings paid to each worker are distinguishable for each business.
  2. Where the above conditions are not met, the WCB will assign a single industry classification based on the business with the highest industry premium rate.
  3. Where an additional classification is assigned, the employer will be required to prorate the earnings of the administrative staff between the businesses. The proration is to be based on the payroll size of each business.

Premium Rates

  1. Industry premium rates are set annually at the rate code level based on the collective claims experience of all employers within an industry rate code.

Policy references

Policy reference content

Section heading

Legislative Authority

Section detail

The Workers’ Compensation Act, 2013
2(1)(l), 2(1)(q), 3, 20, 119, 138

Section heading

Document History

Section detail

01 January 2014. References updated in accordance with The Workers’ Compensation Act, 2013
References updated 01 May 2015 in accordance with The Workers’ Compensation Miscellaneous Regulations

The Workers’ Compensation General Regulations 19;

The Workers’ Compensation Miscellaneous Regulations  3 and 5.

Section heading


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