BC owner-ops likely separate from new definitions of 'independent worker'


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SURREY, B.C. -- Changes that WorkSafeBC has made to the definitions and policies for "workers, employers and independent operators," likely won't affect owner-operators in the trucking industry, reports the B.C. Trucking Association.

Under the new policy, truck owner-operators will still likely be considered independent operators because one of its defining characteristics will be whether the operator legally or beneficially owns a piece of major equipment and contracts to supply personal labor and the piece of major equipment, notes BCTA.

The changes, which take affect Jan. 1, 2009, affects whether an employee is automatically covered by workers’ compensation or whether it is voluntary, as in the case of owner-ops.

According to the policy, "major equipment" is defined as "an asset used to generate revenue and which requires a significant capital outlay to acquire and a significant expense to provide, which may include maintenance and/or operating costs. This definition would seem to cover owner-operators in the trucking industry, the trucking group points out.

There could be an issue with the lease programs especially the walk away leases and no money down. These would not provide sufficient owner investment and risk.

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