Specific Legal Issues

July, 30 2021 Published by South Alberta Chapter - By Paulette Handberg

WCB: Are you covered?

From the Summer 2021 issue of the CCI South Alberta CCI Review

A resident hurts their back shoveling snow. A roofer’s nail gun misfires on a townhouse roof. A window cleaner slips from a wet ladder’s step... In situations like these, workers’ compensation insurance protects employers and workers against the impact of workplace injuries.

The Workers’ Compensation Board – Alberta (WCB) provides benefits and services to Albertans who are hurt at work and provides liability protection for their employer, regardless of who is at fault for a workplace injury. While employers are required to purchase coverage for their employees, it’s sometimes hard to understand your coverage responsibilities if you operate a condominium property or homeowners’ association (HOA). So, who needs to be covered by WCB?

Coverage under Alberta’s Workers’ Compensation Act is required for:

1] Workers employed by the condominium or HOA
Employers that operate a condo property are required to purchase coverage for their paid workers. This may include owners, residents and their families, if they are paid for the services they provide for the property.

2] Subcontractors hired by the condominium or HOA
Paid subcontractors hired for a service are considered workers of the condo corporation. They require coverage. This includes part-time, full-time, casual and piece workers.

A subcontractor is not considered to be a worker of the corporation or association if they have their own WCB account. To confirm if they have an account, ask your subcontractor to provide a WCB clearance letter or you can get one yourself using our online clearance system. If they are not covered, your corporation or association will be liable for their coverage.

Optional coverage is available for:

Unpaid workers
As condo corporations are typically considered “not for profit,” volunteers and unpaid individuals are not automatically covered—but they can be if the condo corporation requests coverage for these individuals.

Directors and board members
Condo directors and board members can purchase optional personal coverage when serving the condo corporation. Personal coverage also provides liability protection for directors and board members in case of a workplace injury.

If you have questions, we have answers.

Visit our website for more information and to learn about condominium corporation and homeowners’ association responsibilities. You can also call us any time—we’re here to help. Reach us toll-free in Alberta at 1-866-922-9221 (Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.)

Ask your subcontractor to provide a WCB clearance letter or you can get one yourself using our online clearance system. If they are not covered, your corporation or association will be liable for their coverage.


By Paulette Handberg, Industry Support team lead, WCB-Alberta

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