The WSIB sets an annual maximum for insurable earnings.
For 2014, the annual maximum was $84,100. For 2015, the annual maximum is $85,200.
For WSIB purposes, it is suggested that you keep payroll and other records for a period of 7 years.
What are Insurable Gross Earnings?
Insurable gross earnings include a worker's total gross earnings for the calendar year before any deductions. Total gross earnings include employment remuneration capable of being estimated in terms of money.
Gross earnings include:
- Wages (hourly, daily, etc.), annual salary, and payment for piecework. These are usually reported on pay stubs and on T4 slips and include any amounts reported on a T4 as deductions, including, but not limited to:
- Income tax
- Employment Insurance (EI)
- Canada Pension Plan (CPP)
- Loss or use of equipment or tools
- Union dues
- Gratuities (tips, verifiable by the employer)
- Allowances for car, clothing, moving, tools, and travel that are reported as taxable benefits and are included in income
- Bonuses, incentives, taxable awards, prizes, taxable gifts
- Director Fees': If the director is an employee of the company, the amount of fee is added to the regular pay period's earnings
What are Non-insurable Gross Earnings?
- Gratuities: tips paid directly to the employee by the customer being served
- Maternity benefits paid by the employer
- Severance pay as required under the Employment Standards Act, 2000
- Sick benefits paid to a worker directly by a private insurance company
For a complete list of Insurable Gross Earnings and Non-insurable Gross Earnings see Operational Policy Manual documents:
Or contact a WSIB account representative.
What are Insurable Earnings for Sole Proprietor, and for each Partner in a Partnership in Construction?
The insurable earnings are each individual's annual self-employment business income, subject to the annual maximum amount of insurable earnings.
The annual self-employment business income is the amount reported to the Canada Revenue Agency as net business income (Line 135) on the individual's Income Tax and Benefit Return (T1 General). In the case of a partnership, each partner's share of the total business income is reflected in their own Income Tax and Benefit Return (T1 General) or T2125 Statement of Business or Professional Activities.
Sole proprietorship and partnerships must ensure that the annual reported amount of insurable earnings submitted to the WSIB is an accurate reflection of their annual net business income.
What are Insurable Earnings for Executive Officers in a Construction Corporation?
The insurable gross earnings of an executive officer are based on the total of:
- Employment income reported on a T4 Statement of Remuneration Paid
- Other insurable employment income reported on a T4A, Statement of Pension, Retirement, Annuity, and Other Income
- Dividends reported on a T5 Statement of Investment Income, and
- Director fees issued by the corporation to the executive officer.
What are Insurable Earnings for Independent Operators in Construction?
The insurable gross earnings are based on the labour portion of the contract for work performed during the reconciliation period.
How do you determine the gross earnings of contractors/subcontractors?
If you contract work to a contractor/subcontractor who the WSIB has determined, for the purposes of WSIB coverage, is your worker, include the worker's insurable gross earnings as part of the premium calculation, along with the earnings of workers. The insurable gross earnings for contractors/subcontractors are based on the labour portion of the contract for work performed during the reconciliation period.
If the contractor's/subcontractor's service to you involves only labour, without money spent by the contractor/subcontractor on materials, equipment and/or installation supplies, then the total price of the contract is treated as insurable gross earnings. This is true no matter what the contractor/subcontractor does – construction, transportation or any other kind of activity.
Labour, materials and equipment
The simplest way to determine the labour portion of the contract is for the contractor/ subcontractor to keep adequate records of all expenses on materials or equipment. Once these acceptable expenses are deducted from the total contract price, the remainder is the labour portion of the contract.
For the above, apply the annual maximum insurable earnings ceiling to eliminate any possible excess earnings ($84,100 for 2014, $85,200 for 2015).
The WSIB considers records adequate if they can verify and separately show amounts paid for labour from materials, equipment and/or installation supplies. When business records, contractor's invoices or written contracts accurately identify the actual labour portions of the contract by identifying the amounts allocated and billed for labour and for materials, equipment and/or installation supplies, the labour portion is treated as the contractor's gross earnings.
The WSIB considers records inadequate if they do not accurately verify the labour portion of the contract. In addition, if there is no evidence that the contractor/subcontractor supplies major materials or heavy equipment used in the direct performance of the contractor's/ subcontractor's work, the WSIB considers the entire contract value (100%) as the contractor's gross insurable earnings.
For more information on major materials and heavy equipment, see Operational Policy document 14-02-08, Determining Earnings, Determining Insurable Earnings
If your records are inadequate and you are in the landscaping, logging, construction, or the transportation industry, the WSIB uses different contract values. For details see, Employers, Operational Policy Manual:
If you need additional information or help, please contact a WSIB account representative. Contact information can be found on the back of this guide.
Earnings records confirm the total gross earnings of your workers for the calendar year. Records should include:
- Names of your workers and positions
- Earnings, hours and days they were paid, and
- Dates on which they were employed
Record keeping when hiring contractors/ subcontractors
Keep business records, including written contracts and contractors'/subcontractors' invoices that show:
- Dates worked, days and hours paid
- Amounts earned
- Amounts paid for labour and costs of material/equipment supplied by the contractor/subcontractor
Excess earnings for an individual worker are any earnings above the annual maximum insurable earnings set by the WSIB. Employers pay premiums on gross insurable earnings up to the maximum insurable earnings set for the year. Any earnings above this limit are not subject to WSIB premiums.
For 2014 the maximum insurable earnings ceiling is $84,100.
For the 2014 year end reconciliation, use the 2014 annual maximum insurable earnings ceiling.
The maximum insurable earnings ceiling for 2015 is $85,200.
When closing an account in 2015, use the 2015 annual maximum insurable earnings.
- Worker 1: 2014 gross earnings = $87,600
- Worker 2: 2014 gross earnings = $61,300
WSIB 2014 maximum insurable earnings = $84,100
The employer will pay premiums on:
- Worker 1: $84,100 Worker's gross earnings are above the WSIB 2014 maximum insurable earnings, therefore employer pays on WSIB maximum insurable earnings
- Worker 2: $61,300 Workers gross earnings are below the WSIB 2014 annual maximum insurable earnings, therefore employer pays on worker's total gross earnings
If a person works for more than one employer during the year, the annual maximum insurable earnings applies to the insurable gross earnings with each employer. Employers are not responsible for tracking a worker's earnings with other employers.
Excluding the construction industry, independent operators, sole proprietors, partners and executive officers are not automatically covered under the WSIA unless they apply for optional insurance.
An owner's spouse, or other family member must hold a position as a partner or executive officer and must receive earnings that are verifiable if audited to qualify for optional insurance.
Under the WSIA, compulsory coverage extends to most independent operators, sole proprietors, partners and executive officers in the construction industry, with certain exceptions. A partner/executive officer who has been granted an exemption by the WSIB or an individual who meets the home renovation exemption criteria under Operational Policy Manual document: 12-01-06, Expanded Compulsory Coverage in Construction, may make an application for optional insurance.
Optional insurance takes effect the date the signed written request is received by the WSIB.
The optional insurance amount should reflect the earnings of the person covered.
Optional insurance is always set at an annual earnings level, subject to the annual maximum insurable earnings ceiling, regardless of the period the insurance is actually in effect.
The minimum coverage period for optional insurance is three months.
To update the amount of optional insurance, use the Optional Insurance Request/Change form included in your reconciliation package.
Cancelling optional insurance
If there is optional insurance coverage on your WSIB account, optional insurance stays in effect until the person covered provides a signed, written request asking for cancellation of optional coverage.
If the person covered is no longer with the firm and is not available to sign the cancellation form, the employer must provide the date the person in question left the company. In such cases the WSIB will accept an authorized signature instead of the insured person's signature.
The WSIB may cancel optional insurance with 15 days notice if the employer defaults on premium payments. If there are multiple accounts, optional insurance is cancelled for all accounts, no matter which account is in default.
An individual in construction who no longer is eligible for the partner/executive officer exemption from compulsory coverage, or no longer meets the home renovation exemption criteria in construction, must cancel their optional insurance as they must report their actual insurable earnings.