Intro-01 : ECM User Guide
- ECM User guide
- Application Date
- January 1, 2010
- Rate Group
- ECM User guide
- Intro-01 : ECM User Guide
- Document No.
Document sections:| Employer Classification Manual User Guide |
Employer Classification Manual User Guide
Administration of Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) programs is supported by two policy manuals. The Operational Policy Manual (OPM) contains operational policies that the WSIB uses to make decisions about entitlement to benefits, employer premiums, return to work provisions, and related workplace safety and insurance issues. The Employer Classification Manual (ECM) describes the 800-plus Classification Units (CUs) used by the WSIB to classify all business activities into approximately 150 rate groups.
Each CU has its own document that is indexed by industry class and, within each class, by rate group. The 9 classes are identified by letters A to I. For example, the document number for the Shingles and Shakes CU is A-033-01:
- "A" refers to the class, Forest Products.
- "033" refers to the rate group number for Mill Products and Forestry Services
- "01" distinguishes Shingles and Shakes from the other CUs in the rate group
Each CU document also has a CU code. In the above example, the CU code for this document is 2511-000. All WSIB correspondence and forms referring to an employer’s classification use the CU code.
The Employer Classification Manual is used in tandem with The Classification Scheme (policy document 14-01-01, located in the Operational Policy Manual) to classify employers. A copy of this policy has been added to the Reference section, for easy access.
How the manual is organized on our website
The manual contains the following sections:
- ECM User Guide
- Rate group table
- CU documents (Classes A to I)
- Clarification of Health Care Policies
- New Classification Units and Amendments
- 12-01-02, Employer by Application
- 14-01-01, The Classification Scheme
How to locate CU and reference documents in the ECM
To use the search bar in the header of the page, key in the term(s) you are looking for, click on
Table of Contents
The ECM window is divided into two panes. The left pane is the table of contents for the manual on the website. The first level contains the sections of the manual. Some of the items in table of contents have a plus sign (+) beside them. When you click on the plus sign (+), this level will expand to show a secondary level of documents. Subsequent expandable levels can be accessed by clicking on the plus (+) sign or underlined titles.
Each industry class section will expand into the rate groups contained within that class. The rate groups in the left-hand navigation pane are underlined. This means that the rate groups can be expanded into a list of CU documents by clicking on the underlined titles. These CU documents will be displayed in the large window on the right side of the screen.
For example, Class A: Forest Products contains rate groups: 030 Logging, 033 Mill Products and Forestry Services, 036 Veneers, Plywood, and Wood Preservation, 039 Pulp, Newsprint, and Specialty Papers, and 041 Corrugated Boxes. When you click on 030 Logging, the following CU appears: A-030-01 0411-099 Logging Operations.
Rate group table
The Rate group table lists all the rate groups in numeric order with their descriptions (titles). The CU documents for each rate group are listed below their rate group description by document number. Next to each document number is the corresponding CU code and description. The CU descriptions in these tables are shorter versions (maximum 30 characters) of the descriptions that appear on the CU documents.
New Classification Units and Amendments
This section lists revisions to the ECM since it was first published in January 1, 1994. The revisions are recorded by ECM document number. A description of the change is followed by an effective date and a minute reference. The effective date is the date the new CU or revised CU took effect. This is also known as the application date. The minute reference states when the amendment was minuted.
Appendix 2 records amendments to the ECM until 2005. For any given CU, the most recent amendment prior to 2005 is listed first. The most recent amendment rescinds and supersedes the previous amendment.
Effective January 1, 2005, a new list (appendix) is created each year to record annual changes to the ECM.
Clarification of Health Care Policies
This minuted policy clarifies the application and effective dates of various CUs in the manual relating to health care. The minuting memo before the main text indicates the CUs affected by the policy and the effective dates of the clarifications.
Documents that assist you with using this manual have been placed in the reference section. For example, links to OPM documents 14-01-01, The Classification Scheme and 12-01-02, Employer by Application are located in this section.
How to identify a document using the document header
The top of every document includes a header section that provides you with pertinent information related to that specific document such as, Industry Class, Rate Group, CU Code and Title, Application Date and Published Date.
CU Code and Title - Amendment Tags
Classification units are constantly under review and the WSIB makes revisions to the ECM as required. Since the ECM was re-minuted effective January 1, 2005, there have been new documents added and amendments to existing documents. A tag is placed on the document to indicate if it is "New" or if there has been an "Amendment" to the existing document. These tags appear next to the CU title followed by the relevant application date. Note that a tag may not appear if the amendment is very minor as in the case of a housekeeping change (e.g., typographical error, cross reference update).
To learn of all the minuted changes that have taken place in a given year, you can refer to "New Classification Units and Amendments" in the Appendices.
The application date of an ECM document is displayed in the header at the top of every document and on the last page of the print-friendly version of the document.
This date refers to the date when the document was published for release on the web site and in hard copy. The WSIB releases new or revised policies as soon as possible after they are minuted or when the new policy goes into effect in the event of a prospective application date. The published date appears in the header at the top of every document and on the last page of the print-friendly version of the document.
Policies are published on the web and in hard copy however, the web version allows for quicker viewing due to the time required to print and mail the hard copies.
How to read a CU document
Each CU document provides information about the status and scope of the CU. These documents may also contain notes and cross references. Each of the terms - Status, Scope, Note, and Cross reference is explained below.
Status indicates the coverage of the CU relative to coverage under Schedule 1 of the Act. The status can be Compulsory under Schedule 1, By application (non- covered), or By application (transfer from Schedule 2).
- Compulsory under Schedule 1 means that the CU represents one, or part of one, of the industries listed in Schedule 1. Employers engaged in a business activity that falls under a CU with this status carry compulsory coverage for all workers engaged in that activity.
- By application (non-covered) means that the CU includes activities that do not fall under either Schedule 1 or Schedule 2. Employers engaged in these non-covered activities can apply for Schedule 1 coverage. If the WSIB approves the application, the employer’s operations are added to Schedule 1.
- By application (transfer from Schedule 2) means that the CU includes activities that fall under Schedule 2. Employers in these Schedule 2 activities can apply to transfer to Schedule 1. If the WSIB approves the application, the employer’s operations are added to Schedule 1.
An asterisk (*) beside any of the three status descriptions indicates that the CU has mixed status. This means that one or more of the business activities in the CU does not have the same coverage status as the other activities. In most cases, the status description provides the status for the majority of the activities in the CU. Details of which activities form exceptions, and why, are recorded in a "Note."
For example, in document I-921-06 (9121-000) - Lodging Houses and Residential Clubs, the status description reads "Compulsory under Schedule 1.*" The Note explains that the activities indicated by an asterisk in the Scope are not compulsorily covered. In the list of business activities, asterisks appear beside "fraternity houses," "residential clubs," and "sorority houses."
This is a general description of the business activities or services included in the CU. If applicable, this description is followed by a detailed list of activities, products, or services.
Notes provide additional information to help describe a CU and its business activities. For example, if a CU has mixed status, a note is used to specify and describe this.
These entries refer the reader to other CU documents which include similar or related business activities. These documents are linked. For example, document I-921-06, Lodging Houses and Residential Clubs has a cross reference to H-861-09, Other Non-institutional Social Services. To go directly to H-861-09, click on the link. To go back to the original document (I-921-06), use the
How to navigate in a policy document
CU documents contain the following headings: Status, Scope, Note, and Cross reference. To move directly to one of these headings, click on the headings in parentheses at the top of each document. To move from a heading to the beginning of the policy, click on the "Back to top" link or scroll using the vertical bar on the right side of the window.
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