Overview of the workplace safety and insurance system
Workplace safety and insurance is a no-fault insurance system for work-related injuries and diseases. It is governed by the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act, 1997 (WSIA), and is managed by the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB).
Who needs to register with the WSIB
If you hire workers, including family members, or apprentices for your business you must register with the WSIB within 10 days of hiring your first worker if you are a compulsorily covered industry.
Likewise, if you acquire any or all of an existing compulsorily covered business with employees, you must register with the WSIB within 10 days.
You should always check with the WSIB, preferably in writing, to determine whether or not you need to register.
Precautions when acquiring an existing business
If you acquire an existing business you will inherit the seller’s accident history and financial obligations, including any money owed to the WSIB. To protect yourself, you should get a purchase certificate from the WSIB. A purchase certificate is a document the WSIB will issue if the original employer’s account is in good standing, on the date the business is sold.
If a purchase certificate is issued, the WSIB will not hold the purchaser liable for any amounts charged to the original owner’s account, up to the date the business changed hands.
For audit purposes, purchasers must keep a copy of any purchase certificate received. Both the purchaser and the vendor are required to keep a copy of any purchase certificate issued directly to them by the WSIB.