WSIA Coverage for Personal Support Workers and Developmental Support Workers

Regulation Number(s):
O. Reg. 175/98
Instrument Type:
Bill or Act:
Workplace Safety and Insurance Act 1997
Summary of Proposal:
In 2019, the Ontario government appointed two external reviewers to conduct an operational review of the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) to help ensure the WSIB's long-term sustainability and effectiveness. The WSIB Operational Review report, containing 25 recommendations, was released on November 6, 2020.

The report contains two recommendations that specifically address coverage:
•The WSIB and the government should extend mandatory coverage to developmental support workers and those working in residential care facilities.
•The WSIB should move to an "exclusionary model" for coverage on a go-forward basis for new employers and industries. This would not affect currently non-mandatory covered industries, but it would apply to any new firms or industries operating in the province.

The recommendation to extend WSIB coverage to DSWs and PSWs is intended to address uneven treatment of these workers who are doing the same activities and functions as their covered counterparts. Depending on their employer(s), some PSWs and DSWs are included in mandatory coverage and others are excluded. Workers can be doing the same work in a workplace that is subject to mandatory coverage and in another workplace that is not, sometimes on the same day. The report notes that this anomaly in WSIB coverage justifies immediate action to level the playing field for workers in these industries. There is heightened immediacy to consider this recommendation given the Government's efforts to support workers and employers through the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Ministry wants your input on extending mandatory coverage to employers who commonly employ PSWs and/or DSWs but are not subject to mandatory coverage.

Extending coverage to these employers would mean that all staff, both full-time and part-time would be afforded WSIB coverage protections.

Feedback to the questions posed in the consultation paper will provide valuable insight as the government determines the best ways to protect PSWs and DSWs.
Analysis of Regulatory Impact:
Proposal imposes no administrative costs for regulated entities.
Further Information:
Proposal Number:
21-MLTSD 004
Posting Date:
March 29, 2021
Comments Due Date:
April 28, 2021
Contact Address:
PSW/DSW Coverage Consultations
Health, Safety and Insurance Policy Branch
Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development
400 University Avenue, 14th Floor
Toronto ON M7A 1T7