Independent Worker Coverage
Effective date: February 1, 2021
Application: Applies to all contractors in a mandatory industry who do not hire others.
Policy subject: Employer coverage and registration
To establish guidelines for independent worker coverage.
- POL 13/2020, Independent Worker Coverage, provides guidelines to determine if an independent worker is eligible for an account or if they are considered a worker of the principal they are working for.
- The Workers’ Compensation Board (WCB) requires workers to provide sufficient information, such as names and addresses of principals, to demonstrate that they meet the criteria for personal coverage (The Workers’ Compensation Act, 2013, Section 20(2)).
- When is personal coverage granted to an independent worker?
- An application for personal coverage will be accepted if a worker is able to provide satisfactory evidence that they are involved in multiple contracts within a particular industry within the current and past three years.
- Applications for personal coverage will be administered in accordance with POL 03/2014, Coverage – Personal.
- What is considered satisfactory evidence?
- Typically, satisfactory evidence is the provision of names of at least two principals the independent worker is working for or has worked for in the current and past three years.
- Employer Services staff may require the dates of work completed and/or the contact names and phone numbers of the principals.
- Employer Services staff may obtain additional proof of multiple contracts and account eligibility. This includes, but is not limited to:
- Requesting copies of invoices for work performed.
- Directly contacting the principals to verify the existence of principal‑contractor relationships.
- Requesting proof of payroll to ensure an employer-worker relationship exists, if the independent worker has indicated they are hiring workers.
- What if an independent worker is just beginning their business and is not yet involved in multiple contracts?
- At the time of application, if an independent worker indicates that they have just started their business, they will be required to provide details of their business plans that demonstrates the intent to work for more than one principal for the same type of work or industrial undertaking. Proof of multiple contracts must be provided within one year from the date of application.
- If the independent worker is able to demonstrate the above:
- Personal coverage will be provided to the independent worker, in accordance with POL 03/2014, Coverage – Personal, and
- A letter will be sent to the independent worker, requiring them to provide proof of multiple contracts within one year from the date of application.
- Employer Services staff may review the independent worker’s account at any time to determine if the multiple contracts criteria has been met (e.g., clearances for more than one principal for the same industrial undertaking).
- If the independent worker fails to provide proof of multiple contracts within one year:
- Their coverage and account will be discontinued.
- A letter will be sent to the independent worker notifying them of the account closure as a result of failing to meet the criteria outlined in the policy, and
- Cancellation of coverage will not be retroactive and will be effective on the date of the written advice, subject to a three-month minimum on the current calendar year.
The Workers’ Compensation Act, 2013
Sections 2(1)(l), 2(1)(ii), 3, 18, 20, 131
(1) POL 15/2000, Coverage – Independent Worker (effective February 1, 2001 to January 31, 2021).
(2) References updated in accordance with The Workers’ Compensation Act, 2013 (effective January 1, 2014).
(3) Board Order 9/86, Non-Employers (effective February 14, 1986 to February 1, 2000).
(4) Board Order 56/80, Non-Reporting Subcontractors (effective July 7, 1980 to February 1, 2000).
POL 13/2020 Independent Worker Coverage
POL 14/2020 Contracts Involving Equipment
POL 04/2014 Coverage – Directors
POL 03/2014 Coverage – Personal
POL 21/2014 Coverage – Voluntary
POL 12/2020 Employer Coverage and Registration
POL 08/2020 Maximum Assessable Wage Rate – 2021
POL 07/2011 Minimum Annual Assessment