In New Brunswick, workers’ compensation is administered through a no-fault insurance system set up under the Workers’ Compensation Act. The system is designed to compensate injured workers and protect employers from being sued by workers who are injured on the job. A worker covered by workers’ compensation gives up the right to legal action against the employer in exchange for compensation and rehabilitation services provided by WorkSafeNB. We also provide resources to assist employers with injury prevention, workplace safety, disability management and return to work programs for injured workers.
Under the WC Act, all employers with three or more workers at any time during the year must register for mandatory coverage with WorkSafeNB. These workers may be full-time, part-time, casual workers or non-registered contractors, subcontractors or brokers. This is referred to as mandatory coverage. Employers who qualify for mandatory coverage are required to register with WorkSafeNB within 15 days of the start of the business and must provide specific information about their operations and an estimate of the assessable earnings for the calendar year.
Exception: An employer in the fishing industry must register for mandatory coverage when 25 or more workers are employed.
When fewer than three workers are employed, voluntary coverage may be requested. Employers are eligible for voluntary coverage if they have two or more work contracts. Assessment payment must be included with the application.
Exception: An employer with fewer than three workers working exclusively for one principal customer/contractor will not be granted voluntary coverage. The principal is responsible for all such subcontractors.
Personal coverage may be requested for
The coverage requested may not be less than $12,000 or greater than the maximum annual assessable earnings.
Note: To determine loss of earnings, WorkSafeNB uses the lesser of personal coverage purchased and actual earnings.
More than 15,000 businesses in New Brunswick are covered by workers’ compensation insurance, a system that operates on the principle of collective liability for employers. Premiums paid by the entire employer population are pooled and then used to pay the present and future costs of claims, and all of WorkSafeNB’s prevention and administration functions.
WorkSafeNB uses a combination of criteria to determine an employers' premium for workers' compensation insurance coverage. The system is not intended to balance each insured employer's premium payment exactly to the insured employer's costs, but rather to group and assess employers by similar industry and accident risk.
WorkSafeNB premiums are calculated by determining an overall assessment rate, which is then charged annually to the employer per $100 of assessed earnings. Several factors influence the amount of each employer's overall assessment rate, as outlined below:
Employers are classified by industry type (not by the occupation of each worker) and the classification is intended to reflect the industry’s total activities and output. New Brunswick employers are each assigned one of 789 industrial classification codes, as defined by the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS).
Employers are then sorted into one of 75 industry groups, according to their five-year accident costs, type of risk, and other factors.
Employers are next assigned a rate group according to their accident or hazard risk. For each rate group, a rate of assessment, levied per $100 of payroll, is set each year at the level estimated to yield sufficient revenue. Several factors influence the setting of assessment rates, such as: the recent injury and cost experience in each industry class; WorkSafeNB’s current financial strength; and other factors such as the prevailing economic environment and current adjudication policies.
Employers with an average annual premium of $2,000 or more are automatically assigned an experience rating, which acts as the final factor in calculating their premium. This rating allows their assessment rate to vary based on accident experience. For example, an employer's rate can be decreased to a maximum of 40% or increased by as much as 80%, depending on whether that employer's claim cost experience compares favourably or unfavourably with the rate group’s average claim cost of the rate group. This program is designed to reward employers with few and less severe accidents or injuries with lower premiums, and provide a financial incentive to those with higher ratings.
Once an overall assessment rate is calculated for your business, it must be applied to each $100 of assessable earnings during the year in question. The resulting number is the premium you must pay to WorkSafeNB. For example, if your rate is $1.25 per $100 of payroll with an annual payroll of $200,000, your assessment will be calculated as follow:
Assessment Rate/100 Assessable Payroll Annual Assessment
$1.25/100 x $200,000 = $2,500
Employers with assessment premiums below $100 pay the minimum assessment, which is $100.
Watch our video to understand how assessment rates are set.
A worker includes any individual in an employment relationship. This is an individual who receives remuneration for work or services performed for an employer (sole proprietorship, partnership or corporation). New Brunswick’s Workers’ Compensation Act includes certain types of individuals as workers. This includes:
Contractors and subcontractors who are not individually registered with WorkSafeNB are considered to be workers for the purposes of workers' compensation insurance, since the contractors are regarded as being regular workers.
If the contractor you are doing business with requires mandatory coverage with WorkSafeNB due to the number of workers they employ, you will not be assessed for their coverage.
If the contractor you are doing business with is not registered with WorkSafeNB - because they employ fewer than three workers - you (the contractor's principal employer) will be assessed for their coverage, based on the gross amount of the contract. The percentages of the contract value are:
For example, if the gross amount of the contract for an unregistered janitorial contractor is $800, you will be assessed on $640 ($800 x 80/100) at your employer rate.
You are permitted to deduct/recover from the contractor the portion of assessment for the labour and materials, hired equipment, courier/mail services and janitorial contractors. Labour-only contracts cannot be charged back.
When a contractor from another jurisdiction is awarded a contract for work to be carried out in New Brunswick, this contractor is required to register with WorkSafeNB if:
If the above requirements are not applicable, you will be responsible for their coverage.
To search or request a clearance certificate before making any settlement with a broker or contractor, proceed to search here.
Coverage may be extended beyond New Brunswick in cases where a worker is employed by a New Brunswick employer and works temporarily outside the province. The employer must first confirm from the receiving jurisdiction’s workers’ compensation board, if coverage is mandatory. If coverage is mandatory, the employer must obtain coverage in that jurisdiction. If coverage is not mandatory, WorkSafeNB can temporarily extend the coverage. To apply for extended WorkSafeNB coverage, the employer must provide WorkSafeNB with a written request for coverage with the names of the workers to be covered. To qualify for this coverage, the employer must maintain a business operation within New Brunswick and the worker’s usual place of employment must be in New Brunswick.
Immunity issues: It is important to note that an extension of coverage for workers temporarily outside New Brunswick does not provide either employers or workers with immunity from litigation outside the province. Only a registration with the other jurisdiction provides immunity.
Trucking firms with workers living in New Brunswick and traveling to other provinces can opt for the Alternative Assessment Procedure (AAP) for Inter Jurisdictional Trucking and Transport. The AAP simplifies premium payments – instead of prorating your workers’ earnings based on the distance they’ve travelled, and paying premiums to each province/territory where your workers travel, you only pay the premiums for eligible workers in the jurisdiction (s) where they live and work.
Employers and workers in each province or territory using the AAP receive the same rights, benefits and protection as those who don’t travel between jurisdictions. Apply for AAP.
Assessable earnings, generally speaking, are comprised of all payroll and payroll-related monies, up to an annual limit, for the year in question. That means an employer is assessed on the gross earnings of a given worker, up to the yearly maximum, regardless of the period worked.
Proprietorship and Partnership
An employer operating as a proprietorship or partnership must not include earnings paid to the proprietor, partners, spouses, and children under the age of 16 living with the employer. These individuals may apply for personal coverage.
An employer who operates as a limited company must include amounts paid to all workers, including directors and executive officers. Non-salaried officers may apply for personal coverage.
Complete list of assessable and non-assessable earnings:
Assessable earnings include the following:
Non-assessable earnings, which employers are not required to report to WorkSafeNB, include:
Employers must report their payroll information to WorkSafeNB by February 28 of each year. Annual employers must complete Form 100 - Employer Payroll Report and include:
WorkSafeNB considers the estimate reasonable when actual payrolls are within 25% of the estimate. An employer may submit a revised payroll estimate during the year if unexpected changes in activity occur. Any revised estimate must be received no later than November 30 of the year to which the estimate applies.
The Monthly Assessments on Actual Payroll (MAAP) program provides employers the option of monthly reporting and monthly payments. The online program can help employers improve cash flow and reduce risks associated with underestimating assessable earnings.
Here’s how the program works:
Employers whose account is in good standing can participate in the MAAP program. Participation would begin at the start of the year, or at the start of operation for newly registered employers. Annually assessed employers usually cannot switch mid-year. To learn more about the MAAP program, or to request password access to the website, please contact Assessment Services 1-800 999-9775 (option 4).
A variety of business circumstances can affect your WorkSafeNB coverage. If your business experiences any one of the following scenarios, contact WorkSafeNB immediately.
If your company changes its structure, it may be considered a "new employer" for WorkSafeNB purposes, and will require a new account.
If your company closed, your annual WorkSafeNB premium may be adjusted to reflect coverage for the period leading up to the date operations stopped.
Before buying any existing business, you should obtain a clearance letter from WorkSafeNB. This letter will ensure there are no outstanding premiums owed by the previous owner.