Coverage for contractors and subcontractors

If you hire a contractor or subcontractor who doesn't have WCB-Alberta coverage, you may be responsible for coverage if the contractor or one of their workers is injured. Providing coverage not only protects the worker, it also protects you from lawsuit if an injury happens.

The following table will help you determine whether or not you must provide coverage for a contractor or subcontractor:

Not incorporated
This includes partners, trade name companies and proprietors (people who own and operate a business without workers).

WCB Status Your responsibility
Without their own
WCB accounts

You must provide coverage.

Report the labour portion of their earnings as insurable earnings.
With their own WCB accounts You don't have to provide coverage.

However, you may be liable for any of their unpaid premiums. Be sure their premiums have been paid by requesting a clearance letter before you give them their final payment.

Corporations

WCB Status Your responsibility
Without their own
WCB accounts
You don't have to provide coverage.

However, if the directors don't have personal coverage, your business is not protected from lawsuit if they are injured. Request a clearance letter to check if an account has been opened before you give them their final payment.
With their own WCB accounts You don't have to provide coverage.

However, you may be liable for any of their unpaid premiums. Also, if the directors don't have personal coverage, your business is not protected from lawsuit if they are injured.
Be sure an account is open and their premiums have been paid by requesting a clearance letter before you give them their final payment.

If you're a contractor or subcontractor, you may qualify for your own WCB account.

Requesting clearance letters

We encourage you to request clearances letters for the companies you hire. A clearance letter shows you if a contractor has their own coverage or needs to be covered as your worker. If the contractor has their own coverage, a clearance letter clears you of responsibility by notifying you if the contractor has paid their WCB premiums.

If you don't have a clearance letter and the contractor has not paid their premiums, you may be liable for those premiums. It's important to remember that it's illegal for employers under section 139 of the Workers' Compensation Act to make deductions from a worker's earnings to pay for any portion of a premium owed to WCB.