Assessable Earnings Policy 23-200 | Effective Date: January 1, 2020


The purpose of this policy is to communicate WorkSafeNB’s guidelines for determining and reporting assessable earnings.


This policy applies to every employer who pays or is required to pay assessments.


WorkSafeNB collects assessment premiums, and penalties or an additional percentage of assessment charge("Charge"), from employers covered under the  WC Act . An employer's assessment premiums are based on the individual employer's payroll and a rate set by WorkSafeNB annually for each employer.

Employers  are required to report to WorkSafeNB the assessable earnings of their full-time, part-time, casual, and contract workers. Employers either report the actual assessable earnings on a monthly basis as part of WorkSafeNB’s Monthly Assessment on Actual Payroll (MAAP) program, or on an annual basis.

Failure to report assessable earnings as required by WorkSafeNB may result in administrative penalties or other Charges on the employer’s account.


Assessable Earnings

  1. Assessable earnings may include:
    • Wages;
    • Salary;
    • Commissions;
    • Bonuses;
    • Vacation pay;
    • Statutory holiday pay;
    • Overtime;
    • Sick leave benefits;
    • Honorariums;
    • Directors fees;
    • Distribution of profits employees report on a T4 or T4A;
    • Tips and gratuities reported to the government department responsible for taxation;
    • Call in / call back pay;
    • Shift differentials or premiums;
    • Value of the labour portion of a contract;
    • Municipal councillor allowances reported on a T4 or T4A (taxation forms);
    • Employer’s portion of RRSP contribution if available to the recipient prior to age 65;
    • Retroactive pay changes; and
    • Any other financial remuneration reported as income and paid by the employer.
  1. Employers are not required to report earnings and benefits that WorkSafeNB excludes from assessments. Examples of non-assessable earnings include:
    • WorkSafeNB benefits;
    • Taxable allowances for employment-related supplies or activities (for example, allowances for travel, use of vehicle, tools, clothing, and dry cleaning);
    • Dividends reported on a T-5;
    • Retirement allowances;
    • Severance pay;
    • Any other taxable benefits which are not monetary;
    • Employer’s portion of RRSP contribution if locked in until age 65;
    • Earnings from a proprietorship or partnership, and proprietors’ or partners’ spouses and/or children under the age of 16 residing at home, if employed by the proprietor or partner; and
    • Amounts in excess of the maximum annual earnings per worker.


Reporting Assessable Earnings

  1. Employers must report all earnings for each worker, up to the maximum assessable amount for the year being reported. The maximum assessable amount is indexed annually, and more information can be found in Policy 37-110 New Brunswick Industrial Aggregate Earnings. Earnings cannot be pro-rated or averaged for any period of the year.
  1. No minimum applies to assessable earnings, except where WorkSafeNB has granted personal Coverage.
  1. WorkSafeNB requires accurate actual payrolls for the previous year or month, and reasonable current year payroll estimates. Employers who underreport or underestimate their payrolls including that of unregistered subcontractors by more than 25% over the calendar year will be charged an additional 12% of assessments (Charge) on the underreported or underestimated portion of the actual assessment. WorkSafeNB collects the charge as part of the employer’s regular assessment.
  1. For employers participating in Monthly Assessment on Actual Payroll (MAAP) program, the preceding month’s actual earnings must be reported no later than the 15th day of each month.
  1. MAAP employers who repeatedly report late may be switched to the annual assessment program.
  1. For employers who report earnings annually, they are required to report assessable earnings for every separate business activity, or operation, assigned by WorkSafeNB using a Form 100 – Employer Payroll Report. The report must be submitted to WorkSafeNB on or before February 28th of each year and include: 
    • The actual earnings for the previous year that they paid to their workers; and
    • A reasonable estimate of the current year’s earnings that they expect to pay their workers.
  1. Assessed employers who report their earnings late are charged an additional 5% or 10% late filing Charge. The percentage applied is dependent on when the reported earnings are received. 
  1.  WorkSafeNB may cancel the late filing Charge or underreporting Charge if the employer provides acceptable justification.
  1. Annually assessed employers may submit a revised payroll estimate during the year if unexpected changes in activity occur. Any revised estimate showing an increase in assessable earnings must be received by WorkSafeNB not later than November 30th of the year to which the estimate applies. 
  1. If an annually assessed employer submits a revised estimate showing a decrease in assessable earnings, WorkSafeNB will credit the employer’s account if  acceptable justification for the decreased estimate is provided.
  1. In addition to the Charges listed above, employers who report their payroll late, or underreport or underestimate their payroll, may be charged an administrative penalty of:
    • up to $500 for a first contravention;
    • up to $2,000 for a second contravention; and
    • up to $10,000 for a third or subsequent contravention.
  1. If WorkSafeNB suspects an employer has fraudulently submitted an assessable earnings  statement, the case may be referred to the General Counsel’s Office for appropriate action. 

Assessment of Volunteers and Learners

  1. Employers may apply for coverage of the following types of volunteer workers or learners:
    • Learners;
    • Volunteer municipal firefighters;
    • Volunteer ambulance drivers/attendants;
    • Volunteer and auxiliary police officers and police constables when appointed under the Police Act; and
    • Volunteer executive members of a labour union.
  1. In the case of learners, the employer is the person, agency, or association controlling and monitoring the employment placement or training program. 
  1. In order for WorkSafeNB to provide coverage, the employer must prior to the requested period of coverage, submit a list containing the names and social insurance numbers and coverage start date requiring coverage during the calendar year.
  1. The calendar year assessment is:
    • $20.00 per individual for the first 10 reported on the list; and
    • $15.00 per individual for each additional name on the list. 
  1. WorkSafeNB does not levy assessments on employers for coverage in the following special cases:
    • Individuals asked by a fire chief or deputy to assist at a fire or accident site;
    • Individuals assisting a peace officer; and
    • Individuals asked to assist with recognized Emergency Measures Organization activities.

Assessment of Contractors and Sub-Contractors

  1. Employers are responsible for reporting to WorkSafeNB all contracts that contain a labour component that they award to individuals and companies. The labour portion of the contract is assessed at the principal employer’s industry rate.
  1. When an employer hires a contractor or subcontractor who is not registered or required to be registered, that employer is:
    • Considered to be the “principal”; and
    • Will be assessed for the coverage of contractors/subcontractors.
  1. Principal employers who maintain or are required to maintain an assessment account with WorkSafeNB may withhold from unregistered contractors or subcontractors the amount of their contract’s assessment liability, in accordance with the percentages outlined below principals are liable for the assessment amounts, regardless of whether they have withheld monies from a contractor or subcontractor, unless they have obtained a clearance certificate from WorkSafeNB.
  1. WorkSafeNB will not assess a principal for out-of-province contractors who provide a letter or certificate from the Workers’ Compensation Board or Commission of their home province, indicating their registration with that Board or Commission and showing that coverage has been extended for the work performed in this or any other province.
  1. For contracts, WorkSafeNB bases its assessment of a principal’s contracts and subcontracts on the following percentages, which represent the labour content of the contract:
    • Labour Only 100%
    • Janitorial Service 80%   
    • Labour & Material 50%   
    • Courier Service 40%
    • Hired Equipment 25%
  1. The principal may deduct from a contractor or subcontractor only the portion of assessment related to "Janitorial Service", “Labour & Material,” “Courier Service,” and “Hired Equipment” contracts.
  1. No deductions are permitted in “labour only” contracts because the workers are considered workers of the principal, and no premiums or deductions from a worker’s earnings are permitted for assessment purposes under the WC Act.
  1. At an employer’s request, WorkSafeNB may assess actual labour costs rather than take the above-noted percentage of (50%) of Labour and Material contracts. This provision applies to contracts involving the installation of expensive equipment, with minimal amounts of labour. In cases like this, the employer must provide WorkSafeNB with evidence substantiating the request.


Assessable earnings – the gross earnings before any deductions, up to the maximum annual earnings set by WorkSafeNB, for each worker on an employer’s payroll.

MAAP (Monthly Assessment on Actual Payroll) – a program allowing an employer to pay assessments on a monthly basis, based on actual payroll.

Principal – any person or employer providing work on a contract or sub-contract basis to another person(s) or employer(s).


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