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  • News
  • December 13, 2013

MPP Albanese Introduces Private Member’s Bill to Protect Legitimate Operators in the Construction Industry

For Immediate Release

December 12, 2013

Toronto, ON- Today in the Legislature, Laura Albanese, MPP for York South-Weston, introduced a Private Member’s Bill entitled Bill 155, Workplace Safety and Insurance Amendment Act (Premium Rates for Deemed Workers in Construction), 2013.

New legislation regarding mandatory coverage in construction (Bill 119) requires mandatory coverage at same premium rate for all workers in construction, which also encompasses employers in the industry.

Bill 155 aims to strike a more fair balance between the mandatory WSIB premiums that employers pay for workers who spend the majority of their day on job sites, and those paid by their employers on their own behalf.

The Workplace Safety and Insurance Amendment Act (Premium Rates for Deemed Workers in Construction), 2013 encourages compliance with the Workplace Safety and Insurance Amendment Act, 2008 and the spirit of Bill 119, the Workplace Safety and Insurance Amendment Act, 2008, while being fair to small business owners who split their time between management, paperwork, meetings and the job site. For many small business owners, the new legislation requiring the same level of mandatory coverage for all workers, including employers who may not be on a job site for days at a time, can mean the difference between keeping their business open, or shutting down and turning to cash jobs in construction.

“Small business owners have told me that while they want to respect the law and worker’s rights, they need the tools to remain competitive in the face of the underground economy,” says MPP Albanese. “The Workplace Safety and Insurance Amendment Act (Premium Rates for Deemed Workers in Construction), 2013 more accurately reflects the role of an employer on a job site and the level of mandatory WSIB premiums they should be paying while minimizing participation in the illegal cash economy that plagues legitimate operators in the construction industry.”

Read the Bill below:

Workplace Safety and Insurance Amendment Act (Premium Rates for Deemed Workers in Construction), 2013

“The Bill amends the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act, 1997. The amendments provide that the rate used to calculate the premium to be paid by employers in the construction industry in respect of independent operators, sole proprietors, partners in partnerships and executive officers of corporations must be one-third of the rate used to calculate the premium to be paid in respect of workers. This requirement applies for a five-year period, following which the rate must meet any requirements prescribed by regulations.”

 

Read what the construction industry is saying about Bill 155:

“Ontario Home Builders’ Association members have been looking for fairness in the application of WSIB mandatory coverage, Bill 119, in our sector.  Bill 155 for the first time tries to provide some fairness to small business in construction regarding WSIB premiums, keeping our sector competitive against illegal cash operators while still requiring us to be part of the WSIB system. We appreciated MPP Laura Albanese’s work with our industry when she served as Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Labour. At that time she met with members of our association to discuss the impact of regulations and policies that encourage illegal economic activity in the residential construction sector.”
-Eric DenOuden, President
Ontario Home Builders’ Association

“The Ontario Sewer and Watermain Construction Association urges the Government of Ontario to support this important piece of legislation and commends Ms. Albanese for putting this Bill forward, recognizing the need to accommodate small business owners, who are the backbone of our industry. Bill 155 makes an important adjustment to the Workplace Safety and Insurance Amendment Act, 2008, ensuring that small business owners in construction can remain competitive in an increasingly regulated industry.”.”
Vince Bellissimo, President
Ontario Sewer and Watermain Construction Association

 

For more information or to speak to MPP Albanese:
Andrew Robertson: 416-819-4905
arobertson@liberal.ola.org

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