Under the Supporting Ontario’s Safe Employers program, businesses can achieve the following:
- Accreditation of their occupational health and safety management system
- Employer recognition from the MLTSD
Based on meeting certain eligibility criteria, businesses may receive financial incentives from the WSIB by completing the Supporting Ontario’s Safe Employers (SOSE) program, as required.
How to apply for a financial incentive under the Supporting Ontario’s Safe Employers program?
As an employer, you can visit the MLTSD website and apply for employer recognition by the Chief Prevention Officer (CPO). Please make sure you read the employer recognition criteria and application guidelines carefully before applying for employer recognition.
Once you receive CPO recognition, the MLTSD will share your information with the WSIB for considering your eligibility for financial incentives under the SOSE program.
WSIB’s four-step process that all applications for financial incentive go through:
- Validation of any additional requirements (this includes provide WSIB with the proof of a return-to-work program and completion of culture survey)
- Checking if the employer meets all the eligibility requirements
- Holding a review committee in order to achieve WSIB sign-off
- Provide the successful CPO-recognized employers with financial rebate and notify the unsuccessful applicants about their non-qualification for the financial incentive
What is the eligibility criteria for financial incentive under the SOSE program?
The MLTSD has set out certain criteria, in addition to meeting them, those businesses applying for financial incentives under the SOSE program must meet the following requirements set out by WSIB:
- Achieve and maintain employer recognition provided by the Chief Prevention Officer’s (CPO)
- Businesses applying for the financial incentive under the SOSE program must ensure that they achieve and maintain the employer recognition provided by the CPO.
- Business applicant must be a Schedule 1 employer
- WSIB required the business applicant for financial incentive under the SOSE program to be a Schedule 1 employer to be eligible for the financial incentive.
- Reconcile balances ( if any) with WSIB
- Businesses applying for the financial incentive must ensure that they reconcile balances, if any, with WSIB prior to receiving the financial incentive.
- Comply with the Workplace Safety Insurance Act, 1997 (WSIA)
- Businesses must ensure that they comply with all the requirements of the Workplace Safety Insurance Act, 1997 (WSIA). Thus, within 12 months prior to application submission to MLTSD and during the 3-year payment period, they should have any charges on them neither under the WSIA nor the Criminal Code of Canada (CCC). Moreover, in case the workplace gets charged under the WSIA or CCC after it receives the WSIB financial incentive, in that case, WSIB will reserve the right to retract the financial incentive.
- Not have an allowed traumatic fatality
- The business must not have an allowed traumatic fatality right from the date it achieves Employer Recognition provided by the CPO to the date of issue of the WSIB financial incentive. Further, the business must not have a fatality at its workplace pending a decision. In case there is an allowed traumatic fatality at the workplace after receiving the employer recognition from the CPO, it will not receive financial incentives in any year.
- Submit Return-to-Work evidence to WSIB
- The business must submit the evidence of a Return-to-Work program. Moreover, the program must meet the requirements of the Return-to-Work, which is one of the topics of the WSIB’s Health and Safety Excellence program.
- Complete an annual culture survey
- The business must complete an annual culture survey, which is also an integral part of the WSIB’s Health and Safety Excellence program.
- Have an active WSIB account number
- It is crucial for the business to have an active WSIB number in order to be eligible for a financial incentive under the SOSE program.
- At all points of time, providing a financial incentive, will be at the sole discretion of WSIB.
How much money will your business save?
A business (small or large) applying for financial incentives under the SOSE program may receive the financial incentives for three (3) years from the WSIB if that business:
- Has achieved CPO’s employer recognition
- Successfully maintains the employer recognition
- Meets and maintains all the required eligibility criteria set out by the WSIB
Smaller businesses will benefit from the Supporting Ontario’s Safe Employers program
One of the key features of the SOSE program is its ability to reward the smaller businesses with higher financial incentives. In fact, the SOSE program recognizes the fact that the smaller businesses in Ontario have much lesser influence over their WSIB premium rates. Therefore, the SOSE program provides greater financial incentives to the smaller businesses in Ontario to enable them to make all the required investment in their Occupational Health and Safety Management System (OHSMS) for their workplace.
Your business meets the SOSE program requirements and has implemented an OHSMS, what’s next?
As a business, if you meet all the requirements of the SOSE program while successfully implementing an occupational health and safety management system, you will be required to provide the following information:
Payroll impacted by the OHSMS (the number of employees impacted from the implementation of the OHSMS)
Total organizational payroll