Worker coverage

Workers' compensation insurance provides your workers with the benefits and services needed to help them get back to work safely when an injury happens. If you operate in an industry that's required to have workers' compensation coverage (a mandatory industry), you must open a WCB-Alberta account within 15 days of hiring your first worker.

A worker is anyone who works:

  • Full time.
  • Part time.
  • Temporary or casual (including foreign workers).
  • Contract or subcontract (unless they are operating through a corporation or they maintain their own WCB account).
  • As a volunteer or unpaid worker (this includes family members).

Volunteers or unpaid workers are automatically considered workers under the workers' compensation system if you're a for-profit employer operating in a compulsory industry. If you're a not-for-profit employer in a compulsory industry or in an exempt industry without coverage, then they won't have automatic coverage.

Buying voluntary coverage

While most employers are required by law to provide workers' compensation insurance for their workers, there are some industries that aren't required to have coverage. These are called exempt industries. If you're in an exempt industry, you can voluntarily apply for workers' compensation to protect your workers.

If you're not sure if you're in an exempt industry, please apply for a WCB account or contact us to find out.


  • New account holders fact sheet [PDF, 164KB]
    Information on how your industry classification and premiums are set, your responsibilities as an employer and the online services available through myWCB.