Friday, September 11, 2009

Workers Compensation – Just in Case Something Happens

In addition to government of Canada, another government agency you need to register with is the Alberta Workers Compensation Board, which provides “insurance” in the event of a work place injury. Rates are based on the type of work you do and hence the exposure and likelihood of you making a claim. The easiest way to open an account is to open Internet Explorer 5.5 or later and start on their home page at and click on the top left button/link “Open a WCB Account.” You are able to open the home page in any browser, I use Mozilla, but the registration application only works in Internet Explorer. You also need to have “pop-ups” enabled.

Other information that you need to have available includes your Revenue Canada Business Number and Social Insurance Numbers for yourself and any employees. The application page also asks you to list your competition for comparison of similar businesses so they can better estimate the likelihood of a claim submittal and hence your rate, and where you are doing business outside of Canada/Alberta. When filling out the forms remember that the company Director (you as the owner) are not treated the same as an employee.

Other items of note relative to the Workers Compensation Board is that you cannot enter a new employee into the system more than 15 days before their hire date and the maximum compensation available in the event of an injury is $72,600/year

Last but not least is payment of the premiums and they have made this part easy. The initial application is accompanied by a $200 deposit that can paid with Visa, Mastercard and other options. You can also choose to have any future/additional payments made the same way and they send you an invoice/receipt in the mail to confirm all charges which will keep the accountants happy.

Since most companies will ask you for your Workers Compensation number with their request for proposal or employment contract just to be sure that you have this minimum coverage so its best to get this done sooner rather than later as well. In many cases your client will also ask for General Liability and maybe Errors & Omissions insurance as well but that is another topic and saga all together.

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