Depending on the work that you are doing, you may be asked to provide a WCB clearance letter to someone hiring you. In other cases you could be requesting a WCB clearance letter from a contractor or company. In many cases you may not know what a WCB clearance letter is. Why is it important?
I will discuss the importance of this document from the perspective of a client hiring and a contractor looking for work.
What is a WCB Clearance Letter?
A clearance letter is a document that confirms a company or contractor has WCB coverage. It provides information about your company and the industry that you work in. Depending on the province it could also provide information on the type of coverage you have with WCB in your province.
Why is it Important?
Depends on who is asking.
Are you hiring someone or are you looking to get hired by someone?
If you are hiring another company or contractor to do work for you then you would want to get a clearance letter. This could also include if you are a homeowner hiring a company to do work on your property.
This is important because it’s a document that proves the people you are hiring are not your employees. They are a separate company and contractor that you’re asking to come in and help you or do work for you.
Looking to Get Hired
Most companies before they hire you will now ask for a WCB clearance letter. By giving them this document, you are saying that you have WCB coverage for yourself or your workers. This eliminates any responsibility to the client hiring you in the event of a WCB claim.
Having an up to date clearance letter can help to reduce wait times for payments on invoices.
What Happens if I Hire Someone Without a WCB Clearance Letter?
There are a couple of consequences you could face if you don’t get a WCB clearance letter from your contractors.
- In the event of your contractor or their employees getting injured with a WCB claim, your company could be held liable.
This means, that without a proper WCB clearance the claim could go against your account. All the costs associated with that claim would go against your account and affect your premiums.
- If you are audited and it was found that you hired a contractor without a WCB Clearance you could be on the hook for their payroll.
A WCB clearance letter tells the WCB that your contractor has their own account, is reporting their own payroll, and paying their own premiums.
If this isn’t the case, WCB could say that for the period the contractor worked for you, they were your employee(s).
This would mean that payroll would be added to your total and increase your premium for the year.
How Long is a WCB Clearance Good For?
It depends on the province.
In some provinces it’s only good for the day it was issued. Other provinces in Canada it can be much longer than that. It’s important to speak with your provincial WCB to find out how long a clearance letter is in effect.
When Should I get a Clearance Letter?
As someone who is hiring a company or contractor you want to get the clearance letter before they start work. This proves that they had WCB when you hired them.
Depending on the province, you may want the contractor to provide clearance letters on invoicing and at the end of the project.
Do You Need a WCB Account to get a WCB Clearance Letter?
You should have a WCB account to get a WCB clearance letter.
The clearance letter is proof to the client hiring you that you have WCB coverage for you and your employees in the industry you’re working in.
How do I get a WCB Clearance Letter?
Most WCB’s across Canada have an online system where you can log in and put your information. This will email you or the company you’re doing work for a copy of the clearance letter.
Otherwise you can call WCB directly and speak to the employer account department and request a copy.
If you need the contact information for your province, we have listed all the contact information on our WCB Resources page for your convenience.
Can WCBconsulting.ca Help me?
Of course we can!
We can help you:
- Obtain a Clearance Letter
- Appeal issues that have to do with clearance letters
- Provide best practices on clearance letters
Our WCB Online Courses to ensure you have all the information you need when it comes to WCB claims and WCB appeals. Regardless if you are a beginner or a seasoned pro, our online courses provide professional strategies and information you can implement in your company right away.
Included are videos, documents, and templates to help guide you. No need to re-invent the wheel. Everything you need when it comes to WCB claims is a click away.
Check out our courses page for more information.