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Is Registering with the CNESST Mandatory?

Is Registering with the CNESST Mandatory?

Advice for contractorIs Registering with the CNESST Mandatory?

Believe it or not, as a renovation contractor, you operate in one of the most accident-prone industries. We aren’t looking to instill fear by stating the obvious, but rather encourage you to protect yourself while offering the same protection to your team. 

Given your position, you’re also responsible for managing employees and subcontractors with rights in terms of pay equity and working conditions. Said factors are just some of your responsibilities as a company executive. Construction or renovation worksite safety and staff happiness are two of the most important factors for ensuring your company’s success. 

Is Registering with Quebec's CNESST Mandatory? 

Inscription sheet

Source: Canva

Typically speaking, as far as renovation companies as concerned, the answer is yes. In fact, here are the conditions under which you must be legally registered with the CNESST

  • You employ one, full-time or part-time, employee, or have a Quebec-based business. 

  • You hire one self-employed worker considered a “worker” by the CNESST.

Here are the factors that necessitate self-employed persons to be covered by the CNESST:

A self-employed person is considered a worker by the CNESST if they do not have any employees and if they carry out an activity that is similar or related to that of the client. Similar or related activities relate to the administration of [a] company, its activities of producing or distributing a good or the provision of the services it offers. 

Condition exemptions are detailed here: Distinction between a worker and a self-employed worker.

Let’s just say that most renovation companies meet at least one of the above-mentioned conditions, right?

Do you think you qualify for exemption when it comes to CNESST-administered laws? Check out this webpage to access the list of workers partially or fully exempt from the Act respecting labour standards: Workers who are not covered.

Note that when it comes to renovation contractors, these exemptions are rather rare. When in doubt, consult the CNESST’s customer service directly.

Why Register with the CNESST?

In Quebec, complying with workplace rights and safety isn’t to be taken lightly. There are laws, such as the Act respecting labour standards, governing the proper practices by which companies must abide. The Commission des normes, de l’équité, de la santé et de la sécurité du travail (CNESST) was made responsible for ensuring said regulations are implemented since 2016.

To comply with standards as a renovation contractor, you have to register with the CNESST and pay contributions meant for insuring employees in case of workplace accidents. 

How Much Are Registration Fees for Renovation Contractors?

Lady calculating expenses 

Source: Canva

Your CNESST contributions will materialize as periodic payments to the organization through Revenu Québec. 

Since contributions are based on your employees’ salaries and premium fees, we can’t give you exact fees or yearly costs. However, you can calculate the amount owed yourself (or ask a friend who’s good with numbers or an accountant) with the help of the following formula:

Total insurable earnings × Periodic payment rate ÷ 100

Source: CNESST

Your premium fees (calculated based on every $100 of insurable salary) will vary based on your classification unit, such as your company’s insurable payroll and the nature of your activities. Said premium will be calculated upon registration, according to a specific method implemented by the customer service agent handling your file.

Said rate will be revised every year. Every October, you will receive a classification decision, detailing all the information pertaining the you. If you disagree with the classification unit awarded to you, you can request a decision reconsideration.  

Remember to hold onto all information regarding your contribution payments for six years, as these records will serve you during CNESST or Revenu Québec audits. 

Note that you can also add need-based coverage. For example, you can request insurance for volunteers or interns should you need either or for a project. 

Lastly, you will be asked to pay a fixed, yearly fee to maintain a valid status. The fee amounts to roughly $65 (double-check when registering as the fee is subject to change).

Most importantly, avoid late payments at all costs, as failing to pay on time risks resulting in unfortunate circumstances. 

Understanding CNESST Registration in Four Questions

Renovation project with calculator 

Source: Canva

Registering with the CNESST as an Employer? How to Apply

Fill in the registration form made available on the CNESST’s website. Your request will be processed as quickly as possible, and from there, proceed with the next steps by following the guidelines detailed in the documents sent to you. Naturally, should you require additional information, feel free to contact the CNESST’s customer service department.

When Do I Have to Register with the CNESST?

According to the law, if you figure amongst the employers required to offer CNESST insurance, you have 60 days to register, following the first day that your first worker reports for work. Beyond said deadline, you risk incurring penalties or fees.

If you forgot the register in time and are hoping to take the lead on your oversight, don’t sit on it! You may have to deal with financial penalties, but rest assured, they won’t be as significant as if the CNESST catches you red-handed, failing to submit your statement of wages! 

Do I Have to Register Temporary Foreign Workers with the CNESST?

Absolutely. Temporary foreign workers are insured by the Act respecting labour standards and are granted the same coverage as their Canadian co-workers. Fill in this form for temporary foreign worker declaration of employment.

Am I Covered by the CNESST as the Owner of a Renovation Company?

Even if you’re registered with the CNESST through your employees as their boss, you’re not automatically protected if you fall victim to a workplace accident. However, you can register for additional insurance, yet this course of action is optional and will incur additional fees.

Albeit, it’s a worthwhile option. So it’s up to you to weigh the pros and cons based on your specific circumstances. Some prefer to opt for different insurance types, protecting them under specific conditions. Prior to making your situation-specific decision, get in touch with a CNESST representative. 


Get new contracts for your construction or renovation company

RenoQuotes.com can help you get new contracts. We get new project proposals from clients seeking top-rated and trustworthy renovation professionals like yourself. To get started, simply fill in the form on our homepage (it only takes a few minutes) and receive information regarding potential clients by way of our services.

Dial 1-844 828-1588 to speak with one of our customer service representatives.

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Last modified 2024-05-27

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