Accounts and Coverage

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

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.

Growing businesses

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.

Alterations to your WorkSafeNB account

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.

  • Business status change (incorporation, etc.)
    If your company changes its structure, it may be considered a "new employer" for WorkSafeNB purposes, and require a new account.
  • Going out of business
    If your company has ceased operations, your annual WorkSafeNB premium may be adjusted to reflect coverage for the period leading up to the date operations ceased.
  • Purchasing another business
    Before purchasing 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. 

 

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.

Contractors from New Brunswick

If your business has awarded a contract to a New Brunswick contractor, one of the following two situations will apply:

Unregistered contractor

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.

Registered contractor

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.

Contractors from outside New Brunswick

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:

  • the contractor has three or more workers.
  • the duration of the job exceeds one week.

If neither of the above apply, you will be responsible for their coverage, as noted above in the "Unregistered Contractor" section.

Clearance certificates

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.

Reporting

For assessment purposes, you must submit to WorkSafeNB annually a complete list of the contractors with whom you have entered into business relationships.

Resource 

Subcontractor  Guide for Employer in New Brunswick

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.

Coverage issues

There are two types of coverage a New Brunswick worker can receive, when working outside of the province:

Temporary coverage from the receiving jurisdiction

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.

Extended WorkSafeNB coverage

To apply for extended WorkSafeNB coverage, the employer must:

  • Be a registered WorkSafeNB employer.
  • Carry on a business operation within the province of New Brunswick.
  • Ensure these workers are included and reported in the payroll.


To qualify for this coverage, the individual's usual place of employment must be within the province of New Brunswick.

Notification process

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.

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 such immunity.

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

  • Non-salaried officer of a limited or incorporated company;
  • Proprietor, partners and spouses of a proprietor or partner;
  • Self-employed individuals if they have two or more work contracts.

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 14,500 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:

Industry classification 

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).

Industry grouping

Employers are then sorted into one of 75 industry groups, according to their five-year accident costs, type of risk, and other factors.

Rate grouping 

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.

Experience rating 

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:

  1. a learner,
  2. an emergency services worker within the meaning of any agreement made under the Emergency Measures Act between the Government of Canada and the Government of New Brunswick in which provision is made for compensation with respect to the injury or death of such workers,
  3. a member of a municipal volunteer fire brigade, and
  4. a person employed in a management capacity by the employer, including an executive officer of a corporation, where that executive officer is carried on the pay-roll.

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:

  • Labour only – 100%
  • Janitorial service – 80%
  • Labour and material – 50%
  • Courier and mail service – 40%
  • Hired equipment – 25%

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:

  • The contractor has three or more workers; and
  • The duration of the job exceeds 5 days

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.

Working outside New Brunswick

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

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 here 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.

Limited Company

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.

Click for a complete list of assessable and non-assessable earnings.

Assessable earnings include the following:

  • Wages
  • Salaries
  • Commissions
  • Bonuses
  • Vacation pay
  • Overtime pay
  • Sick pay
  • Honorariums
  • Director's fees
  • Distribution of profits reported on a T-4 or T-4A
  • Tips and gratuities included on T-4
  • Call in / call back pay
  • Shift premiums
  • Labour value of contract workers
  • Cash in lieu of a notice
  • Amounts received for profit sharing
  • Municipal counselor allowances
  • Reported on a T-4 or T-4A
  • Employer's portion of RRSP
  • Contribution if available to the recipient before age 65
  • Any other financial remuneration reported as income by the employer

Non-assessable earnings, which employers are not required to report to WorkSafeNB, include:

  •  Taxable allowances for:
    • Travel
    • Tools
    • Clothing
    • Dry cleaning
    • Use of vehicle
  • Dividends reported on a T-5
  • Retirement allowances
  • Any other taxable benefits which are not monetary
  • Employer's portion of RRSP contribution if locked in until age 65
  • Earnings for proprietors, partners, their spouses and their children under the age of 16 residing at home
  • Amounts in excess of the maximum assessable earnings.

 

 

 

 

 

 Reporting your payroll

 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: 

  • The actual earnings paid to their workers for the previous year.
  • A reasonable estimate of the current year’s earnings that is expected to be paid to their workers.
  • A complete list of the contractors hired and the gross amount of each contract.
  • A reasonable estimate of the current year’s contractors that will be hired and the gross amount of each contract.

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.

Monthly Assessments on Actual Payroll (MAAP)

Employers who use MAAP for reporting and paying assessment will benefit through improved cash flow and they will no longer be required to estimate assessable earnings. The following shows how MAAP works:

  • Upon receipt of the completed application, WorkSafeNB will provide the employer with an access and registration codes to register.
  • The employer, files online a statement of their actual assessable earnings for the month, by the 15th of the following month.
  • Following the invoicing; the assessment is deducted from the employer’s financial institution through pre-authorized payments.

Request to file your payroll monthly here.

 

A variety of business circumstances can affect your WorkSafeNB coverage. If your business experiences any one of the following scenarios, contact WorkSafeNB immediately.

  • Business status change (incorporation, etc.)

If your company changes its structure, it may be considered a "new employer" for WorkSafeNB purposes, and will require a new account.

  • Going out of business

If your company closed, your annual WorkSafeNB premium may be adjusted to reflect coverage for the period leading up to the date operations stopped.

  • Buying another business

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.

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