On Nov. 17, 2015, Alberta’s Jobs, Skills, Training and Labour Minister Lori Sigurdson introduced Bill 6, which could impact approximately 60,000 farms and ranches as well as 43,000 agricultural workers.
Bill 6, the Enhanced Protection for Farm and Ranch Workers Act, aims to safeguard workers by extending provincial safety regulations to the agriculture industry and requiring worker’s compensation coverage. If passed, the bill would do the following:
The new rules would impact all farm and ranch workers, regardless of whether or not they are paid. In addition, for family-owned farms, OHS regulation would apply to workers of any age.
Following its announcement, Bill 6 sparked concern and protest from farmers who argue that the proposed legislation is an attack on their way of life. Opponents worry that the government is not providing enough details and that Bill 6 does not take into account that, in some cases, farms are more like homes than businesses.
The government has said it plans to consult with farm workers, producers, labour associations and more over the course of the next month in order to further explain the bill and gain an understanding of the unique agriculture industry as well as receive any feedback.
To review the proposed changes and their potential impact, consult Alberta’s Enhanced Protection for Farm and Ranch Workers Act fact sheet.
For more information on Bill 6 and how it could impact you, contact Lloyd Sadd Insurance Brokers Ltd today.