April 13, 2020
As part of its response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (“WSIB”) has announced a relief package allowing employers to defer premium reporting and payments until August 31, 2020. The WSIB has also announced that the costs for COVID-19 claims will be allocated on a Schedule-wide basis, and will not result in premium increases for 2020.
Schedule 1 employers are eligible to defer their reporting and payments until August 31, 2020. This applies to monthly payments due March 31, April 30, May 31, June 30, and July 31, 2020, to quarterly payments due April 30 and July 31, 2020, and to annual payments due April 30, 2020.
Schedule 2 employers—–including certain publicly funded organizations and certain businesses involved in federally regulated industries—are also eligible to defer reporting and payment obligations.
No interest will accrue and no penalties will be charged during the deferral period.
Importantly, eligible employers are not required to opt-in to the deferral. For those employers that do not wish to participate, reports may still be submitted online and payments may can be made online or via mail.
Alongside the deferral of premium reporting and payment obligations, the WSIB has announced that the costs of COVID-19 related claims will be allocated on a schedule-wide basis rather than at an employer or class level. WSIB has also announced that there will be no change in premium rates for 2020. This measure will help to alleviate the impact of COVID-19 cases on individual employers, thus facilitating workers’ ability to comply with public health orders such as self-isolation or quarantine orders. This will not alter employers’ obligations under the Occupational Health and Safety Act.
Authored by Nick Ruhloff-Queiruga, Articling Student