News Release Archive

To ensure that all eligible workers and employers are protected
to the fullest extent, the Workers Compensation Board (WCB) is
implementing a one-time employer registration amnesty program.

Between May 1 and June 17, 1996, employers who have not
registered with the WCB as required by the Workers' Compensation
Act can do so without fines or penalties.

Most businesses with more than two employees (including
full-time, part-time, casual, sub-contractors, and active company
officers) are required by law to register with the WCB for

Employers must register within 10 days of meeting the coverage
guidelines outlined in the act. Active officers, regardless of
whether or not a wage is taken, are counted as workers in
determining if coverage is required. As well, most businesses
hiring subcontractors must register with the Workers'
Compensation Board.

Employers who are not registered with the WCB run a considerable
risk. If a workplace accident occurs, their employees are still
covered by the WCB but the employer may be liable for full
payment of all the costs associated with a claim. As well,
businesses who fail to register may additionally be subject to
fines and penalties including payment of back-dated assessments
and a fine of 10 per cent of the back-dated amount.

The Workers' Compensation Board has historically not charged
unregistered employers with all of the costs of accidents that
occurred when they were unregistered. However, for accidents
occurring after June 17, 1996 unregistered employers may, in
addition to the payment of fines and penalties, also be charged
all of the costs associated with these accidents.

"Each year there are approximately 34,000 workplace accidents in
Nova Scotia.  The human and financial toll associated with these
accidents is high, and workers' compensation coverage is designed
to protect both the injured worker and their employer," says WCB
chief executive officer David Stuewe.

The WCB's amnesty program opens the door for businesses that
should be registered but, for whatever reason, have failed to do
so. It will enable them to comply with the law and commence
paying assessment premiums for 1996, Mr. Stuewe said. This will
provide employers with the comprehensive insurance package
offered by the board without incurring penalties or fines.
Employees should also be advised that they have WCB coverage even
if their employer has not registered with the Board.


Contact: donalee Moulton  902-424-8339

trp                  Apr. 18, 1996 - 2:50 p.m.