WorkSafeBC – You May NOT be Covered!

A decision by the Workers’ Compensation Appeal Tribunal (“WCAT”) ruled that a Performer who had failed to register her loan-out company, was not a “Worker” within the meaning of the British Columbia Workers Compensation Act (the “Act”) and consequently, upon being injured on set, was not covered for her injuries. The WCAT determined that the Performer’s loan-out company should have self-registered with WorkSafeBC instead of relying on the Producers’ coverage.

If you plan to operate through a loan-out company UBCP recommends that you confirm your loan-out company’s status with WorkSafeBC immediately by following the process outlined below.

Additionally,  even when not operating through a loan-out company, certain individuals may be considered “independent operators” and will also need to register with WorkSafeBC..

In an effort to reduce the number of inquiries from Performers regarding their status, WorkSafeBC has issued the following clarification on who would be considered an “independent operator” and therefore required to self register with WorkSafeBC:

An independent operator – as that term is used in British Columbia’s Workers Compensation Act and Board policy – is an individual who “performs work under a contract, but has a business existence independent of the person for whom that work is performed” [Assessment Manual Item: AP1-1-1].  For the purposes of the motion picture and film industry, a performer has a business existence independent of the production, if the performer meets each of the following qualifications:

(a)has established a prominent profile for starring, or leading, roles in motion pictures, television roles, or both;

(b)has influence in the day-to-day creative management of a production;

(c)is recognized as a marketable commodity (that is, the performer’s name is used to promote a production); and

(d)commands a great degree of public interest or fascination.

In the main, the only performers who are independent operator are “stars” – to use the vernacular – who have established their exceptional status through a body of work.  All other performers are “workers” – as that term is defined in the Act – of a production company and cannot register with the Board.

WorkSafeBC is your primary insurance when you are injured at work and provides benefits that may not be covered by BC Medical or by your extended health plan (AFBS or MBT).

Production companies may require you to submit proof of either your registration with WorkSafeBC or proof that WorkSafeBC deems you to be a “Worker” and therefore covered by the Producers’ WorkSafeBC coverage. This proof may take the form of either a Clearance Letter stating that you are registered with WorkSafeBC or an Exemption Letter stating that you are not required to be registered with WorkSafeBC.

WorkSafeBC has established a streamlined process to determine your corporation’s status and a specific Motion Picture and Television industry Company registration form is available here:

Those performers considered to be “independent operators”, as outlined above, who do not operate  through a loan-out company and do not hire workers may apply for registration, if they choose to do so. The necessary forms are available here:

After you submit your application to WorkSafeBC requesting a status determination, the response may take 2-3 weeks.

Please note that UBCP, AFBS and MBT are NOT in a position to determine your status with WorkSafeBC. ALL inquiries should be directed to WorkSafeBC