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.
To establish workers' compensation coverage, you must register your business with WorkSafeNB. To do so, you must complete an Application for WorkSafeNB Coverage form.
New 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.
Employers who qualify for mandatory coverage as a result of hiring their third worker are required to register with WorkSafeNB within 15 days of the start of the third worker's employment and must provide specific information about their operations and an estimate of the assessable earnings for the calendar year.
There are a variety of business circumstances that will have an effect on your WorkSafeNB coverage. If your business experiences any one of the scenarios outlined below, contact WorkSafeNB immediately.
Contractors and subcontractors who are not individually registered with WorkSafeNB are considered to be your workers for the purposes of workers' compensation insurance, since the contractors are regarded as being regular workers.
If your business has awarded a contract to a New Brunswick contractor, one of the following two situations will apply:
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. You are also 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.
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.
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 neither of the above apply, you will be responsible for their coverage, as noted above in the "Unregistered Contractor" section.
A clearance certificate is a WorkSafeNB document that states in writing that a business in question has workers’ compensation coverage and that the business does not have outstanding premiums owed to WorkSafeNB. An up-to-date clearance certificate should be requested before making any arrangement to do business with a contractor. Without a clearance certificate stating the contractor does not have any outstanding premiums owed to WorkSafeNB or their local board or commission, your business is liable for:
(i) any unpaid assessments; and
(ii) any assessment related to work carried out by an unregistered contractor.
Please contact WorkSafeNB's Assessments inquiry line at 1 800 222-9775 or visit WorkSafeNB’s Clearance Request System page to determine if your contractor or subcontractor is in good standing with WorkSafeNB.
For assessment purposes, you must submit to WorkSafeNB annually a complete list of the contractors with whom you have entered into business relationships.
Workers' compensation insurance 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.
There are two types of coverage a New Brunswick worker can receive, when working outside of the province:
To obtain temporary coverage outside New Brunswick, the employer must communicate with the receiving jurisdiction (Commission or board of destination) to determine whether coverage is mandatory in that jurisdiction. When coverage in the receiving jurisdiction is not mandatory, WorkSafeNB can recommend that coverage be extended.
To apply for extended WorkSafeNB coverage, the employer must:
To qualify for this coverage, the individual's usual place of employment must be within the province of New Brunswick.
In either of the above cases, the employer must provide a written request – in advance of the workers' departure from New Brunswick – to WorkSafeNB (or board) in question, containing the names of the workers requiring coverage, their destination and corresponding time period.
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 such immunity.