After mandatory WSIB was stuffed down the throats of many self-employed Ontario construction contractors almost a year ago, there is still a glimmer of hope that many of these independent contractors will soon get some relief on the amount they are forced to pay.
A private member’s bill, Bill 155, was introduced last December by Laura Albanese, Liberal MPP for York South-Weston. It passed first reading before the Ontario election. Now that Queen’s Park is back at work after the recent election, Albanese is hopeful the bill will make it past 3rd reading and be enacted into law in the near future.
The bill calls for an additional amendment to the WSIB Act that would reduce premiums for “independent operators, sole proprietors, partners in partnerships and executive officers of corporations” to one-third of the rate required by workers who spend all of their working time on construction sites. This would help contractors remain competitive in the face of the underground cash economy.
The present exemption still stands from those home renovators who are hired and paid directly by home owners carrying out renovation work in their main home residence. Meaning these contractors and handymen do not have to register with WSIB.
Scrapping completely mandatory WSIB for self employed contractors is still the goal of many, but this Bill 155 would be a great stop gap in the meantime.
What hardships have you encountered so far with mandatory WSIB? Let us know here!
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READ ARTICLE at Canadian Contractor magazine