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Established in 1985, the Workplace Safety and Insurance Appeals Tribunal (WSIAT) is the final level of appeal to which workers and employers may bring disputes concerning workplace safety and insurance matters in Ontario. WSIAT has always been separate from and independent of the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board.

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  Decision 1410 13
2/14/2017
R. McCutcheon

  • Assessment of employers (retroactivity)
  • Registration of employers

The employer incorporated a transportation business in June 2008. It sent an employer registration form to the Board in March 2010. The Board conducted an audit and found that certain truck drivers were workers and not independent operators. The Board also retroactively registered the employer as of July 2008. The employer appealed.
On the evidence, the truck drivers were workers of the employer and not independent operators.
Board Operational Policy Manual, Document No. 14-02-15, on voluntary registration, provides that, in the case where an employer comes forward voluntarily to disclose non-compliance with registration, the Board may require payment of retroactive premiums from the effective date of registration only. The effective date of registration is the later of the date of first hire or January 1 of the year prior to the year of voluntary disclosure.
The employer submitted that the registration should be retroactive to January 1, 2009, rather than July 1, 2008, based on Document No. 14-02-15, that being January 1 of the year prior to the year of voluntary disclosure. However, the Vice-Chair found that the policy was not applicable in this case. The policy also contains a provision stating that it is not applicable to employers who provide inaccurate of incomplete information for registration purpose in their voluntary disclosure. Even if the employer was under the honest but mistaken impression that it was not required to report earnings of the specific truck drivers in this case, there were several other individuals who were indisputably workers and who had been employed since 2008. Thus, a statement by the employer in its application to the Board that it would not be employing workers until March 2010 was incorrect and would have resulted in underreporting of earnings.
The voluntary registration policy was not applicable. July 1, 2008 was the correct date for registration of the employer's account. The appeal was dismissed.