The majority of costs incurred to the WCB system go to compensate and rehabilitate injured workers. These costs are covered only by employers (who entirely fund the system through premiums) and are largely based on two things:
- How many people get injured;
- When an employee becomes injured, how long they are off the job.
The most effective way to control your costs is to prevent accidents before they happen. And if they do happen, take every measure possible to encourage the employee to return to work in as safe and timely manner as possible.
Employers that are not required to register with WCB may still do so on a voluntary basis. This is referred to as “Voluntary Coverage.” Once registered, the employer is subject to all the same rights and responsibilities as those employers for whom it is mandatory to register.
Too apply for coverage, the employer must complete the Employer Registration Form.
To establish workers’ compensation coverage, you must register your business with WCB. To do so, you must complete an Employer Application Form.
You can also register on-line at the Nova Scotia Business Registry or by contacting the WCB representative in your area.
An Independent Operator may not be eligible to have mandatory coverage with WCB. However, a business owner can be held responsible for the costs incurred when a person whom they believe to be an independent operator is injured while doing work for them or on their behalf. Contractors and subcontractors who are not individually registered with the WCB are considered to be your workers for the purposes of workers’ compensation insurance, since the contractors are regarded as being regular workers.
WCB has very specific rules as to when an incident/accident needs to be reported, A WCB Accident Report Form needs to be completed and forwarded to WCB. Note that there are penalties in place for those companies that don't comply.
Nova Scotia law requires that you complete the Accident Report Form and send it to WCB within 5 business days of when you were notified of the workplace accident. If the report is not received within 8 days, a penalty may be applied.
The Office of the Employer Advisor assists Nova Scotia employers in matters concerning workers' compensation through communication, consultation and education. If you are registered with WCB and have questions or concerns about WCB, please consider accessing support and guidance through the OEA. Their service is funded by your employer premiums.
Workers' compensation in Canada had its beginnings in the province of Ontario. In 1910, Mr. Justice William Meredith was appointed to a Royal Commission to study workers' compensation. His final report, known as the Meredith Report was produced in 1913.
The Meredith Report outlined a trade-off in which workers' relinquish their right to sue in exchange for compensation benefits. Meredith advocated for no-fault insurance, collective liability, independent administration, and exclusive jurisdiction. The system exists at arms-length from the government and is shielded from political influence, allowing only limited powers to the Minister responsible. More…
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