Under Section 3 of the Act, “an industry, employer or worker excluded from this Act may apply to the board to be brought within the scope of this Act.” Further, when an excluded employer requests coverage, they are required to notify the workers or their union that WCB coverage has been requested. Additionally, a worker must give notice to their employer that coverage has been requested.
Section 20 provides the Workers’ Compensation Board (WCB) exclusive jurisdiction to determine whether any industry or worker is within the scope of the Act.
In accordance with Section 5 of the Miscellaneous Regulations, if an employer is responsible for an operation that is within the scope of the Act and another operation that the Act does not apply to, coverage will only apply to the work performed in the industry to which the Act applies.
Policy section content
An industry, employer, or worker who is excluded from coverage under the Act may apply for voluntary coverage.
An application for voluntary coverage must be made in writing to Employer Services. An application concerning an industry not previously approved by WCB will be reviewed by the Vice President of Prevention and Employer Services who will determine whether coverage should be granted.
Once an application has been approved, coverage will be effective 12:01 a.m. the day following the date the application is received by the WCB. If a worker is injured prior to the effective date of the coverage, the claim will not be accepted.
When voluntary coverage has been purchased, the employer and workers are subject to the same requirements and entitled to the same benefits as those required to have coverage under the Act.
Once an application for voluntary coverage is approved, an employer is required to provide coverage for all of the employer’s workers in that industry.
Coverage will remain in effect until the employer requests in writing that coverage be cancelled or until the WCB cancels it for a reason which includes:
Non-payment of premiums.
Failure to provide the required payroll information.
Providing false or misleading information to the WCB.
Mail is returned and an alternate address cannot be found, or
Any other instance where the WCB determines coverage should be terminated.
Where an employer has operations within a mandatory and an excluded industry, the employer and workers will only have coverage while they are performing work under the industry that is mandatory, unless a voluntary application has been submitted and approved by the WCB.
The following industries and occupations may not be found eligible for voluntary coverage due to considerations such as their high rate of injury and/or difficulty in establishing a wage base:
Artists, entertainers, and performers.
Sports players, including sports coaches and instructors, while participating as a player or competitor in a sporting event.
Sports coaches and instructors employed by professional sports organizations whose intent is to derive profit from the playing of the sport rather than the providing of instruction, and
Voluntary workers, except those in mine rescue work, members of the Emergency Measures Organization, volunteer firefighters, and first responders.
Any decisions made under this policy may be appealed (POL 20/2013, Appeals – Employer Accounts).