You may have heard that homeowners are now required to ensure that the contractor hired to work in their home holds a WSIB clearance number.
The WSIB (Workplace Safety and Insurance Board) is a government agency that provides no-fault compensation for Ontario workplaces covered under the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act, 1997.
As of January 1, 2013, the Ontario Government made WSIB coverage mandatory for most people in the construction industry. Failing to register by January 1, 2014 and working without a clearance number means facing penalties and significant fines for both the contractor and the purchaser of the contractor’s services.
Independent Operators (IO’s), like a Handyman, and others who do not employ additional workers can be exempt from the requirement to register.
A grey area exists where a contractor who may be exempt, declares that workers brought to their jobsite are also IO’s. However, in case of an accident, and subsequent investigation, WSIB can decide the contractor is responsible and deem the IO was an employee. The best way to avoid associated costs and penalties is if the contractor and the IO both complete a WSIB questionnaire, and forward it to the WSIB for a decision. That questionnaire will examine relevant documentation between the contractor and the IO such as invoices, contracts, purchase orders, business cards, etc.
The documentation considered together will determine if the IO has a separate business that is not integrated into the contractors business. If, however the WSIB decides the person does not have a lot of independence in doing the work, it will consider that person (IO) to be a worker, and the contractor responsible for WSIB coverage.
Fixitgary.com is an Independent Operator, does not employ additional workers and therefore won’t need to present a registration number before doing your work. This exemption is defined on page 4 of document 12-01-06 entitled “Expanded Compulsory Coverage in Construction” You can examine a copy here.
However – Handyman Service companies, who have many servicemen on the road, are not exempt. As this is a significant cost to such companies, it is no wonder their hourly charges are considerably higher in comparison to Fixitgary.com.
Fixitgary.com offers quality home repairs and workmanship in Markham, North York, Thornhill, Richmond Hill, Aurora, Newmarket, Stouffville, Uxbridge, Pickering, Ajax, Whitby.