April 26, 2018
On April 6, 2018 the Ontario government proclaimed the amendments to Section 83 of the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act (“WSIA); specifically, adding subsection S.83(4) to the ‘Experience and merit rating programs’ section of the Act. See full text of S.83 here.
Under the earlier Stronger Workplaces for a Strong Economy Act, 2014 (Bill 18) the Lieutenant Governor in Council was given the authority to make regulations requiring the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (“WSIB”) to attribute workplace injuries and related accident costs of a temporary help agency employee to the client employer to which s/he had been assigned. However, while Bill 18 has technically existed “on the books” since it received Royal Assent in November, 2014, it never received proclamation under the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act (“WSIA”). As a result, the change never came into effect, until now. While S.83(4) is now in force, the Regulations to follow will set out the specific circumstances and parameters of when and how responsibility for WSIB claims occurring at a client workplace will be addressed.
While hiring temporary agency workers has often served as a way for businesses to efficiently manage costs and liability, with the proclamation of Bill 18, liability under the WSIA can now follow the worker. However, these provisions only apply to Schedule 1, collective liability, employers that participate in the WSIB experience rating programs (MAP, NEER, CAD7), and will not apply to Schedule 2, self-insured, employers. There are also implications for employer claim filing (Form 7) obligations as well as costs of the injured individual’s year-to-date payroll.
The changes are part of the province’s efforts to increase workplace protection for temporary help agency employees through multiple legislative amendments under Bill 148 which came into effect earlier this year. Those changes include an expansion of the card-based certification regime to temporary help agency employees under the Labour Relations Act and equal pay for equal work provisions under the Employment Standards Act.
You can find the full text of Bill 18 here.
If you have questions regarding the impact of these changes, or steps you can take to reduce their impact, please do not hesitate to contact a Mathews Dinsdale lawyer or CompClaim consultant.