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Individuals you hire under contract may be considered your workers. This also applies to non-incorporated companies where the owners are the ones performing the work for you. The Commission has the exclusive jurisdiction to determine which individuals are independent operators and which individuals are workers, which is determined by completing the questionnaire to the right. Please call 709-778-1291 to discuss the individual’s status with the Commission.   

If the Commission determines these individuals to be your workers, you must report and pay assessments on the labour portion of the contract.

If the Commission determines they are independent operators, you will not be charged assessments on the labour portion of the contract. Independent operators do not receive mandatory coverage under the Act but they may apply for optional personal coverage.  If the individual does not have optional personal coverage for the full period of your contract, then they have the right to file a civil suit against you in the event of a work-related injury. 

If you hire a company

Under the Act, an employer (known as the principal) can be held liable for the assessments owing by their contractor/subcontractor on the labour portion of the contract of service. Contracts of service are defined as those services that are part of the principal’s primary industry. For example, a contract of service would occur where a horticultural company contracts-out tree pruning.

The principal is held liable for insuring these workers when the contractor/sub-contractor is not registered with the Commission. It can also happen when the contractor/sub-contractor is registered with the Commission but is not in good standing.

If a non-incorporated company is hired, the owners of this company may or may not have coverage.  Under the Act, these companies are only required to register if they have employees.  If they are performing the work themselves and have not purchased optional personal coverage, then they may file a civil suit against you in the event of a work-related injury. 

To avoid being charged assessments for contractors/sub-contractors, obtain a clearance letter from the Commission each time you award a contract and before you make final payment to the contractor/subcontractor. The clearance letter would also state if proprietors or partners have purchased optional personal coverage.

If your contractor/sub-contractor is not registered or is not in good standing with the Commission, you are permitted per Section 120 of the Act  to withhold payment for the assessment amount that the Commission will charge you on the labour portion of the contract (at the contractor/sub-contractor's rate). You can contact us at 709-637-2708 and provide us with the contract information to obtain this amount.