BACKGROUND

In December 2015, the Enhanced Protection for Farm and Ranch Workers Act was passed, extending workplace legislation to farms and ranches in Employment Standards, Workers’ Compensation, Occupational Health and Safety and Labour Relations; but applied only to waged, non-family workers. The government plans to introduce the Farm Freedom and Safety Act this fall to put choice back in the hands of farmers and have legislation that reflects the uniqueness of this sector. 

We know that operating a farm is unlike operating a conventional business. Farmers and ranchers need more flexibility to meet workplace legislative standards.

Therefore, the government is proposing to:

  • Give farmers the option of buying workplace insurance from WCB (Workers' Compensation Board) or another supplier as long as basic coverage is provided for such things as medical and return-to-work supports and loss of income protection
  • Exempt small farms from employment legislation, similar to New Brunswick
  • Ensure basic safety standards are in place
  • Reduce the regulatory burden and minimize red tape for farmers and ranchers
Before these changes to legislation are finalized, we want to hear from you!