The WCB calculates your annual premium using your annual payroll estimate. Whether you are required to, or choose to, cover your workers, one of your primary obligations under The Workers Compensation Act is to submit accurate payroll information each year before the last day in February.
The most common questions employers have when reporting annual payroll to WCB are wide ranging.
1. Do we need to report Director, Sole Proprietor or Partners earnings along with our worker actual earnings and/or estimated payroll?
Sole proprietors, partners and directors earnings should not be included in your workers actual or estimated payroll.
2. Can I leave the current year payroll estimate blank if I am unsure if we will have work in Manitoba?
Provide an estimate of your expected total assessable payroll for all your Manitoba-covered workers. If you do not anticipate having any payroll to report, enter 0. If you are not employing workers and do not anticipate employing workers, you still need to provide the WCB with your payroll information prior to the last calendar day of February. Failure to do so can result in penalties. Remember, you can always adjust your reported or estimated payroll at a future date.
3. I am uncertain on reporting net or gross payroll. Can you please explain?
Gross pay is the entire payroll before anything is taken off such as taxes. The net pay is after all deductions, i.e. federal income tax, provincial income tax, Canada Pension Plan (CPP) and Employment Insurance (EI) premium. Gross payroll should be reported to the WCB. The gross amount that employers report, per worker, is subject to a cap or maximum assessable earnings level. You are not charged a premium on the portion of a worker’s earnings that exceeds the maximum assessable earnings level. For 2020, the maximum assessable earnings is $127,000.
4. When I sell my business what date should I report as the last date I employed workers?
If a business is sold, in whole or in part, but continues to employ workers after the date of sale, that payroll must be reported to the WCB. The date a business is sold is not always the same date the business no longer employs workers.
5. When should I include contract labour payroll?
Employers who engage contract labour who contribute to the commercial benefit of their business (especially in the construction and trucking industries) may not understand when they are responsible to report and pay premiums for contract labour. The WCB encourages these employers to use the WCB’s clearance system to identify contractors who do not carry their own coverage. If a contract labourer doesn’t carry coverage, you as the employer, are obligated to include these earnings (labour portion) with your annual reporting.
Friendly tip - when reporting online, keying errors can easily happen when entering payroll. Before submitting your payroll, it is important to recheck the values entered to ensure extra digits have not been entered. This will ensure you are charged on the correct payroll amount.