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Independent operators in construction

If you are sole proprietor or sole executive officer of a corporation, the WSIB considers you an independent operator in construction if:

  • you perform Class G construction work (see details in the employer classification manual)
  • you do not have employees
  • you work as contractor or subcontractor for more than one person during an 18-month period
  • you report as ‘self-employed’ to a government agency, like the Canada Revenue Agency

This means that under the legislation, you will be insured by the WSIB and will have to report your earnings and pay premiums to us.

If your business only does home repairs or renovations on private residences where you are hired and paid directly by the home’s owner or resident, then you do not need to be covered by the WSIB, however, you must still have coverage for your employees.

Calculating insurable earnings

Businesses in construction must calculate the amount of premiums owed, and report and remit the amount to the WSIB.

Premium = Insurable earnings x premium rate ÷ 100

Here’s how:

  1. Your insurable earnings are based on the amount you bill for labour in paperwork such as invoices and contracts for both residential and commercial work.
  2. Calculate your total amount billed as labour (up to the annual maximum) for each reporting period (e.g. quarterly or monthly). This figure represents your insurable earnings.
  3. Multiply your insurable earnings by the premium rate assigned to the type of work you do.
  4. Divide the number by 100. This will give you your total premium payable for the reporting period.
    • Where an independent operator provides labour only, use 100 per cent of the contract value
    • Where an independent operator provides labour and also supplies major materials, however records do not adequately verify the labour portion, use 60 per cent of the contract value to determine insurable earnings
    • Where an independent operator provides labour and heavy construction equipment with or without major materials, use 33 and one-third per cent  of the contract value to determine insurable earnings
  5. If your actual earnings turn out to be different than the amount you reported, please let us know.

For a complete listing of what is considered major materials and heavy construction equipment, please refer to policy 14-02-18, insurable earnings – construction.

If you no longer meet the criteria of an independent operator in construction or you have begun exclusively performing home renovation work, you may request closure of your account; this means:

  • you are working alone
  • you are hired and paid directly by the home’s owner or resident
  • you have met the three month minimum period of coverage as an independent operator

Please note: Your coverage remains in effect until an eligible request for cancellation is received by the WSIB and the minimum period of coverage has been reached. We will not retroactively apply the coverage exemption. This rule is waived in the case of a business closure. If you meet the home renovation exemption please ensure you contact us within 10 business days or you may be required to report.


Reporting and paying premiums is a two-step process. Report your premiums and pay online.

For more information see:

Compass: Guiding you to a healthy and safe workplace
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