Fines and Penalties – General
Effective date: January 1, 2014
Application: Applies to all employers.
Policy subject: Compliance
To establish guidelines for pursuing summary convictions or applying penalties.
Representation means a written submission from a person who has contravened a provision of The Workers’ Compensation Act, 2013 (the “Act”), presenting rationale as to why a penalty should not be imposed or disputing the amount of the penalty.
- The Workers’ Compensation Act, 2013 (the “Act”) outlines the obligations and reporting responsibilities for employers and workers in industries covered under the Act. To ensure the compensation system works efficiently, it’s important that these obligations are met.
- The Act provides the Workers’ Compensation Board (WCB) with authority to pursue summary convictions and/or impose discretionary penalties and administrative penalties for non-compliance with specific provisions of the Act.
- There are three types of fines and penalties that WCB can pursue and/or impose on a person who has contravened the Act:
- Summary conviction to a fine of not more than $1,000.
- Discretionary penalty in a monetary amount ordered by the WCB.
- An administrative penalty, not exceeding $10,000.
- Some or all of the above fines and penalties can be applied, if the following offences are committed:
- Failing to notify the WCB of an injury (Sections 52 and 54).
- Failing to co-operate to achieve a worker’s return to employment (Sections 53 and 54).
- Deducting from a worker, or requiring a worker to contribute towards the expense of medical aid (Section 105).
- Failing to provide accurate statements of assessable earnings (Sections 122 and 123).
- Obstructing or hindering a WCB inspection of an employer’s books or accounts or an employer’s premises (Section 127(7)).
- Failing to provide an estimate of payroll for the remainder of the year and failing to pay an assessment for a business that commenced after an assessment has been made (Section 158).
- Failing to pay, or provide security for payment of, assessment when business is temporary (Section 158(4)).
- Attempting to, or threatening to, prevent a worker from applying for or receiving compensation (Section 163).
- Deducting from a worker, or requiring a worker to contribute towards, an employer’s WCB liabilities (Section 164).
- Knowingly providing false or misleading information (Section 180(1)(a)).
- Failing to report a person’s return to work (Section 180(1)(b).
- Failing to inform the WCB of a material change in a person’s circumstances that may affect entitlement to compensation or other WCB benefits (Section 180(1)(c).
- In addition to these specified offences, Section 180(1)(d) allows the Board to define in the future other offences for contraventions of the Act and regulations. A Board policy decision would be required.
- In determining whether to pursue a summary conviction or impose a penalty, the WCB may consider:
- If the employer intentionally contravened the Act.
- The severity of the infraction.
- The extent to which an infraction adversely affects a third party, such as a worker.
- The pattern or history of offences.
- The need to establish deterrence, and
- The need to prevent continued non-compliance.
- Summary convictions can be pursued regardless if a discretionary or administrative penalty is imposed. The WCB will decide if the offence should be referred to the Crown Prosecutor or if a penalty will be imposed or both.
- Discretionary penalties may be imposed in an amount ordered by the Board, whether or not the employer has been convicted of an offence. These amounts will be based on compensation, medical aid, assessment or deductions as specified by each section of the Act.
- Generally, an administrative penalty will be applied in cases where repeat offenders exist. An administrative penalty, up to $10,000 can be applied in addition to a summary conviction and a discretionary penalty.
- The WCB must impose administrative penalties within three years of when the breach of the Act is discovered. Written notice will be sent to the employer.
- Penalties must be paid in full within 30 days from the date of the initial decision or any decision following written representation.
Penalty Appeal Process
- Within 30 days from receipt of the discretionary or administrative penalty notice, the employer can submit a written representation to the Board Appeal Tribunal presenting rationale as to why a penalty should not be imposed or to dispute the amount of the penalty. A written copy of the decision will be sent to the employer.
- Penalties can be appealed on a question of law only to a judge of the Court of Queen’s Bench within 30 days of the WCB’s decision to impose a penalty.
(1) November 1, 2020. POL and PRO 02/2009, Employer Late Reporting of Injury Claims rescinded through ADM POL 06/2020. Replacement policy pending.
(2) January 1, 2014. POL 26/2013 approved to communicate types of fines and penalties that WCB can pursue and/or impose on a person who has contravened the Act (Bill 58).