On January 1, 2014 changes to the Workers’ Compensation Board (WCB) Alberta policy came in effect to distinguish between unpaid workers and volunteers. These changes will affect the theatre industry in Alberta.
Theatre companies operate in a compulsory industry under the Workers’ Compensation Act — this means that companies are required to open WCB accounts to cover all paid workers. However, the new policy means that volunteers for not-for-profit organizations are no longer covered by the WCB unless the not-for-profit organization chooses to opt-in to the program.
In other words, not-for-profit theatre companies that wish to provide WCB coverage for their volunteers must submit a written application to the WCB Alberta to do so.
Below you will find several PDFs that provide more details about the policy changes, how they impact your organization and how to apply to the WCB Alberta to provide coverage for their volunteers. Theatre Alberta still has a number of questions regarding the new policy, which we have sent to WCB Alberta for clarification. Once we receive new information, we will share with the Albertan theatre community. In the meantime, please carefully review these documents to see how the policy change will impact your theatre organization:
- WCB Volunteer Coverage Policy Change – SUMMARY
- Employer Fact Sheet: Who Do I Have to Cover?
- Employer Fact Sheet: Coverage for Exempt Industries
It is Theatre Alberta’s position that insurance coverage for all volunteers in our industry should be provided, in order to both protect the volunteer from loss and the organization from liability. Whether you choose to provide volunteer coverage through the WCB Alberta or through another insurance provider/product is now entirely up to you.
Thank you to all members of the theatre community that submitted feedback to the WCB Alberta regarding the proposed policy changes back in August 2013. As many of you know, this has been a longstanding issue, and we are pleased that it is nearly resolved. For more background information on the history of this issue, please click here and click here.