On January 1, 2011, new provisions of the Act Respecting Industrial Accidents and Occupational Diseases (IAOD) entered into force. Pursuant to Section 323.2 of the IAOD and following, directors of a company can be held solidarily liable in the event that the company fails to pay an assessment to the CSST. As such, directors can be held liable with respect to a failure to pay any assessments, as well as any accrued interest and penalties incurred in relation to the assessment.
However, a defence of due diligence is available for directors. More specifically, a director cannot be held liable in the event where, in the circumstances, the director exercised a reasonable degree of care, diligence and skill or could not have been aware of the default of the company to pay the assessment.
These new provisions of the IAOD expose directors to a new liability which can be concerning for directors of a company having financial difficulties.