Use WSIB tip line to call out Driver Inc. fleets: OTA

The Ontario Trucking Association is highlighting a confidential tip line for the Ontario Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) as a tool to focus enforcement efforts on Driver Inc. fleets.

The WSIB has been one of the most active regulators to crack down on the fleets that misclassify employees as independent contractors.

All government audits have been interrupted due to Covid-19 this spring, but the association says WSIB had issued $2 million in corrective debit adjustments before that happened. Two companies alone received adjustments of a respective $800,000 and $300,000.

At this point, there is absolutely no doubt the industry and the enforcement community know of the Driver Inc. scheme and many of those who have been taking advantage of the system for their own business and personal gain,” said OTA president Stephen Laskowski.

The association is calling on its members and other industry representatives to use the WSIB’s tip line at 1-888-745-3237 to highlight other fleets that are using the business structure.

“This tip line has been a productive source of leads, which has led to major assessments. A simple phone call can help clean up the Driver Inc. problem,” said Laskowski.

While federal government audits have also been paused during Covid-19, Laskowski tells Road Today that he expects Employment and Social Development Canada to resume promised legislative changes including fines and the naming of employers who use the scheme, as well as an increased focus from the Canada Revenue Agency.

The Canadian Trucking Alliance estimates the Driver Inc. model costs federal taxpayers at least $1 billion, due to truck drivers who do not pay required income taxes, claiming business-related expenses to which they are not actually entitled.

The alliance recently called on the federal government to block Driver Inc. fleets from the Large Employer Emergency Financing Facility (LEEFF) program, which established bridge loans for large companies that exhaust available credit during the pandemic.