Who is a Worker? Policy 21-010 | Effective Date: May 10, 2021

WorkSafeNB determines who is a worker under the Workers’ Compensation Act (WC Act) in order to determine entitlement to workers’ compensation benefits, as well as to establish assessments payable by employers.

The following individuals have been determined to be workers for the purposes of the WC Act:

  • Individuals in an employment relationship receiving remuneration for work or services performed for an employer having three or more workers usually employed;
  • Learners, where training occurs at an assessed employer’s or self-insured employer’s place of business;
  • Learners, where there is a specific agreement in place, such as with the New Brunswick Community College (NBCC) and Collège communautaire du Nouveau-Brunswick (CCNB) to further define learners of the colleges;
  • Emergency service workers;
  • Management personnel;
  • Executive officers of corporations on the pay-roll;
  • Persons assisting a peace officer;
  • Members of a municipal volunteer fire brigade;
  • A person assisting at a fire or accident site at the request of a fire chief or deputy; and
  • Injured workers while attending WorkSafeNB approved treatment, subject to Policy 21-108 Conditions for Entitlement – Injuries During Rehabilitation.

Individuals may be considered workers under the WC Act if WorkSafeNB is satisfied that optional coverage has been purchased for them in accordance with Policy 23-100 Employer Registration. This includes:

  • Individuals employed by any employer in an industry having less than three workers usually employed;
  • Volunteer ambulance drivers/attendants;
  • Volunteer/auxiliary police officers and police constables when appointed under the Police Act;
  • Volunteer executive members of a labour union;
  • Self-employed individuals;
  • Non-salaried officers of a corporation;
  • Proprietors and their spouses; and
  • Partners and their spouses.

The following individuals are not considered to be workers under the WC Act:

  • Individuals employed by any employer in an industry having less than three workers usually employed (two or less) if the employer has not purchased optional insurance;
  • The fishing industry when less than 25 workers are usually employed (24 or less);
  • Casual workers not working for the purpose of an industry;
  • Persons who play sports as their main source of income;
  • Outworkers;
  • Family members of an employer residing with the employer who are under sixteen years of age; and
  • Domestic servants.

Individuals excluded from being a worker under the WC Act may, upon application of the employer, be considered within the scope of the WC Act


  1. WorkSafeNB interprets the term “usually employed” as meaning a predicable pattern of employment, including seasonal or repeated hiring trends. The length of time the individual is employed is not a consideration for exclusion.
  2. The number of workers that an employer usually employs is not affected by the full-time or part-time status of the worker.
  3. WorkSafeNB is satisfied that there is optional coverage for an individual when the employer applies for this coverage as set out in Policy 23-100 Employer Registration and when reports and assessments for these individuals are submitted and paid as set out in Policy 23-200 Assessable Earnings.
  4. A person asked to give assistance at a fire or accident site by the fire chief or deputy is included as a worker, even though WorkSafeNB does not levy assessments for employers in these special cases in accordance with Policy 23-200 Assessable Earnings.
  5. When there is a combination of three or more of the following individuals working for a principal, WorkSafeNB considers them to be workers of the principal:
    • Employees of the principal;
    • Unassessed contractors and their employees; and
    • Unassessed subcontractors and their employees.
  6. Employers directly involved in vessel preparation and catching and landing of fish are considered to be part of the fishing industry.


Employer – includes
(a) every person having in his service under contract of hire or apprenticeship, written or oral, express or implied, any worker engaged in any work in or about an industry,
(b) a municipal corporation, commission, committee, body or other local authority established or exercising any powers or authority with respect to the affairs or purposes, including school purposes, of a municipality,
(c) a person who authorizes or permits a learner to be in or about an industry for the purposes mentioned in the definition "learner",
(c.1) a deemed employer, and
(d) the Crown in right of the Province of New Brunswick, and of Canada, and any permanent board, commission, or corporation established by the Crown in right of the Province of New Brunswick, or of Canada, in so far as they, or either of them, in their capacity as employers, submit to the operation of this Act. (Workers’ Compensation Act)

Learner  any person who, although not under contract of service or apprenticeship, becomes subject to the hazards of an industry within the scope of this Act, for the purpose of undergoing training or probationary work supplied or stipulated by the employer as a preliminary to employment and includes a student attending an educational institution in the Province while participating in an approved work experience program at the place of business of an employer to whom this Act applies. (Workers’ Compensation Act)

Outworker – a person to whom articles or materials are given out to be made up, cleaned, washed, altered, ornamented, finished, repaired or adapted for use or sale, in his own home or in other premises not under the control or management of the person who gave out the articles or materials. (Workers’ Compensation Act)

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

Worker  a person who has entered into or works under a contract of service or apprenticeship, written or oral, express or implied, whether by way of manual labour or otherwise, and includes
(a) a learner,
(a.1) 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,
(b) a member of a municipal volunteer fire brigade, and
(c) 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. (Workers’ Compensation Act)

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