14
FEB
2013

What Every Employer in Ontario Needs to Know – Part 3

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Every employer in the province of Ontario has numerous obligations in relation to employment law matters. The following is a summary of some of the more salient ones.

Please note this paper addresses provincially (as opposed to federally) regulated employers with non-unionized staffs. Additional considerations will apply to union situations. The commentary below is intended as a general guide. Specific advice should be obtained to address specific situations.

This is Part 3 of five parts. Please check back regularly for further installments.

(This memorandum is effective at January, 2013)

3. Workplace Safety and Insurance Act (Ontario) (WSIA)

Depending on how a business is classified, your business may be required to register with the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) and obtain coverage under the WSIA. Even if you are not required to obtain coverage, you may, nevertheless, elect to apply for coverage, i.e., on an optional basis, if your workers are not otherwise covered by a private insurance plan. The value of doing so is to avoid or reduce liability that the company would otherwise have to an employee injured in the workplace. Nonetheless, in the context of an office business (essentially), the risk of such accidents should be assessed to decide if it is worth the cost to enroll voluntarily, since levies will be payable to the WSIB should you do so.

As a general business precaution, employers should ensure that, in any event, their business is properly insured for all normal commercial purposes and has in particular general business, tenant’s insurance and other appropriate coverage.

All Ontario employers have the responsibility to:

• Keep a safe and well-maintained workplace
Employers are required by law to take all reasonable precautions to protect workers from illness or injury. If they decide to voluntarily obtain coverage under the WSIA, employers must prominently post the WSIB’s “In Case of Injury” poster (Form 82).

• Provide first aid training and first aid kits
The Workplace Safety and Insurance Act requires employers to provide specific first aid equipment and training for their workers.

About the Author
Libby Gillman is, by training, an experienced corporate and commercial lawyer with particular expertise in financial institution incorporation and regulation, banking law and regulation, sophisticated and innovative payment systems, electronic banking products, emerging technology-based financial and other products and services, electronic commerce including Internet law, and legal issues of privacy and security on the Internet.