OhioBWC - Basics: (Policy library) - File


Policy Name:

Apprenticeship Elective Coverage

Policy #:


Code/Rule Reference

ORC 4123.038, 4123.039, 4139.01

Effective Date:

July 1, 2017


Ronald L. Suttles, Interim Chief Employer Services


Employer Policy


Apprenticeship Elective Coverage policy revised April 25, 2011.


Revised September 22, 2017; April 25, 2011. New policy issued March 28, 2011.

Review Date:

July 1, 2022



I.      Policy Purpose


A joint apprenticeship committee or a sponsoring organization may contract with the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC) to provide workers’ compensation coverage for apprentices, pre-apprentices, entry-level trainees, or journeyperson trainees who are not considered employees according to ORC 4123.01.


II.    Applicability


This policy applies to the BWC Policy Processing Department, joint apprenticeship committees, sponsoring organizations, and their authorized representatives.


III.   Definitions

A.    Apprentice: A person at least sixteen (16) years of age, except when a higher minimum age standard is otherwise fixed by law, who is in a registered apprenticeship program to learn a skilled occupation pursuant to a registered apprenticeship agreement. When used in policy section IV below, the term apprentice also includes entry-level trainees, journeyperson trainees, and pre-apprentices.

B.    Apprenticeship agreement: A written agreement, registered with the apprenticeship council, providing for not less than two thousand (2,000) hours of reasonably continuous employment, and for participation in an approved schedule of work experience through employment, which shall be supplemented by a minimum of one hundred forty-four (144) hours per year of supplemental instruction.

C.   Employer: For purposes of this policy employer means a joint apprenticeship committee or a sponsoring organization.

D.   Entry-level trainee: A person who possesses experience that would qualify the person as a journeyperson but for the existence of certain other disqualifying conditions and who receives on-the-job training accompanied by classroom instruction outside of normal working hours.

E.    Joint apprenticeship committee: A group consisting of an equal number of employer representatives and employees represented by a collective bargaining agent designated by the sponsor to act for it in administering the apprenticeship program and entering into apprenticeship agreements.

F.    Journeyperson trainee: A person with journeyperson status in a given trade who receives classroom and laboratory training for the purpose of broadening the person’s skills and acquainting the person with new techniques and ideas in the trade.

G.   Pre-apprentice: A person who receives formal classroom training designed to provide the person with the basic education, attitudes, skills, trade knowledge, and motivation necessary to enter a formal apprenticeship program.

H.   Sponsoring organization: An entity offering, conducting, supervising, or giving training to apprentices.

I.      Supplemental instruction: Classroom instruction, workshop training, or on-the-job training.

J.     Statewide average weekly wage (SAWW): The average weekly earnings of all workers in Ohio as determined annually by the Ohio Department of Jobs and Family Services (ODJFS). See ORC 4123.62.

IV.  Policy

A.    Apprentices and workers’ compensation coverage.

1.    An employer may voluntarily contract with BWC for workers’ compensation coverage for apprentices while those persons are in the performance of related training activities.

2.    Upon execution of a contract with BWC, the persons covered by such contract are entitled to the same benefits, payable from the state insurance fund, accorded to employees as defined in ORC 4123.01(A).

B.    Initiating coverage.

1.    The employer must submit an Apprenticeship Elective Coverage Contract (U-80) to BWC.

2.    The U-80 must be signed by an officer, member, partner, agent, or other designee having the authority to enter into a contract on behalf of the employer.

3.    The U-80 must be signed by the BWC Administrator, or an appointed agent or designee of the Administrator with authority to enter into the contract.

4.    Coverage is effective on the date specified in the Duration of Contract section of the U-80. If such a date is not specified, coverage is effective on the latest of the dates listed immediately below:

a.    The date the contract is signed by the Administrator,

b.    The date the contract is signed by the employer,

c.     The date the employer submits an Application for Ohio Workers’ Compensation Coverage (U-3) satisfying all BWC requirements (See the Application for Coverage policy for additional information), or

d.    The date the employer remits premium to BWC.

5.    Coverage will remain in effect until terminated. See section IV.F below.

C.   Payment of premium.

1.    BWC will estimate premium for the employer for each policy year.

2.    Premium from the employer is due and payable prior to BWC extending coverage.

3.    The employer may make premium payments in installments. See the Prospective Billing Installment Payments policy for additional information regarding installment payment plans, due dates, grace periods and default.

4.    If the employer fails to pay premium when due, BWC will lapse the employer’s coverage. The lapse in coverage will have the same effect as if the U-80 had been terminated and will continue until the employer remits all premiums due and payable to BWC.

5.    BWC may cancel the U-80 of an employer who fails to pay premiums when due pursuant to OAC 4123-17-76.

D.   Reporting payroll.

1.    The employer is required to file an annual payroll true-up with BWC at the conclusion of the policy year. See the Payroll True-Up policy for additional information.

2.    The employer must document and report payroll for all of its apprentices.

3.    In defining reportable payroll, BWC generally follows the guidelines of Medicare wage reporting.

4.    The employer must record and report payroll for each apprentice according to National Council on Compensation Insurance (NCCI) manual classifications.

a.    The employer must report payroll for apprentices in classroom instruction or workshop instruction where no physical activity or hands on participation is performed under NCCI manual classification 9101, College: All Other Employees.

b.    The employer must report payroll for apprentices in on-the-job training or workshop training where physical activity or hands on participation is performed under NCCI manual classifications based on the apprentices’ documented duties.

c.     The employer must report payroll for apprentices who receive classroom instruction and perform physical activity under NCCI manual classifications on a prorated basis. This exception to NCCI standards is permissible under the U-80.

5.    The employer must report payroll for each apprentice according to the weekly minimum and maximum payroll reporting limits:

a.    The minimum weekly payroll reporting limit is fifty percent (50%) of the SAWW in the policy year the premium is due.

b.    The maximum weekly payroll reporting limit is one hundred fifty percent (150%) of the SAWW in the policy year the premium is due.

c.     Actual payroll must be reported if the amount falls between the minimum and maximum payroll reporting limits.

E.    Keeping and maintaining records.

1.    The employer must keep and maintain current verifiable and accurate records of apprentices covered under the U-80.

2.    The employer must keep an accurate number of the apprentices covered under the U-80 and report the number of apprentices to BWC when required.

3.    The employer must maintain during the life of the contract a list of the names, addresses, and last four digits of the Social Security number of apprentices engaged in supplemental instruction.

4.    The employer must maintain and report payroll records for each individual apprentice for a period of four years. The four year retention period begins the date each apprentice completes or otherwise leaves the supplemental instruction of the employer or the termination date of the U-80, whichever is earlier.

5.    The employer must release information when requested by BWC either verbally or in writing.

6.    BWC has the right to audit the employer’s records with proper notice in accordance with BWC policies in effect on the date of notification.

F.    Terminating coverage.

1.    Coverage will terminate on the date specified on the U-80.

2.    If a date is specified on the U-80, the employer or BWC may terminate coverage on an earlier date by notifying the other party via US certified mail.

3.    If no date is specified on the U-80, the employer or BWC may terminate coverage by notifying the other party via US certified mail.

4.    To terminate coverage either the employer or BWC must notify the other party in writing via US certified mail.

a.    The employer must send the termination notice to BWC at the following address:


Ohio Bureau of Workers' Compensation

Policy Processing

30 W. Spring St., 22nd Floor

Columbus, OH 43215


b.    Termination will take effect on the date specified in the written notification, but not prior to the date said notification is received by the other party.

G.   Contract amendments and complaint resolution.

1.    Any amendments or modifications to the U-80 must be made in writing. BWC and the employer must sign the written amendment and a copy of the amendment must be filed with BWC.

2.    An employer may file a complaint due to BWC’s decision including, but not limited to, a denial or termination of the U-80.

3.    Employer complaints should be processed under the General Employer Complaint Policy. BWC has not identified any specific extenuating circumstances that apply to Apprenticeship Elective Coverage.

H.   Scenarios.

1.    An electrical contractor is having difficulty hiring experienced electricians so it establishes its own “apprenticeship” program for new hires. The contractor submits a U-80 to BWC to cover these “apprentices.”


Response: The contractor is not eligible for apprenticeship elective coverage. Only a joint apprenticeship committee or a sponsoring organization offering supplemental instruction may obtain apprenticeship elective coverage. The new hires of the electrical contractor are employees and must be treated as such for workers’ compensation purposes.


2.    An individual is enrolled in an approved apprenticeship program and works two days a week for a plumbing and heating company. Who reports payroll?


Response: The plumbing and heating company must report the individual’s payroll for the two days per week he/she works for the company. The joint apprenticeship committee or sponsoring organization administering the apprenticeship program may elect to cover the apprentice by submitting a U-80 to BWC.


3.    A joint apprenticeship committee has an approved U-80 with BWC. One of the apprentices is provided a lodging stipend, transportation to/from the lodging and the school, and a noon time meal on class days. What does the joint apprenticeship committee report as payroll.


Response: The joint apprenticeship committee must report as payroll the cost of the lodging stipend and the fair and equitable cost of the transportation and meals provided to the apprentice. The payroll is subject to the minimum and maximum limits outlined in section IV.D.5 above.


4.    A sponsoring organization has an approved U-80 with BWC. The sponsoring organization has instructors and assistant instructors who teach apprentices. Can the sponsoring organization cover its instructors and assistant instructors for workers’ compensation under the U-80?


Response: No, a sponsoring organization may only elect to cover apprentices, pre-apprentices, entry-level trainees, and journeyperson trainees for workers’ compensation under a U-80 with BWC. Instructors and assistant instructors are either employees of the sponsoring organization, or they may be independent contractors. If they are employees, the sponsoring organization must report their payroll and the minimum and maximum payroll reporting limits do not apply.