Government work groups release findings on Enhanced Protection for Farm and Ranch Workers Act

The Alberta Government is looking for feedback on the 2015 Enhanced Protection for Farm and Ranch Workers Act.

The Alberta Government is looking for feedback on the 2015 Enhanced Protection for Farm and Ranch Workers Act.

Since it’s implementation, the government has been working to ensure the Act properly manages the needs of the agricultural industry.

“Six technical working groups began developing recommendations for how employment standards, labour relations, and occupational health and safety requirements could be applied to meet the unique needs of the agriculture industry,” a bulletin from the Sylvan Lake Chamber of Commerce stated. “The recommendations of the working groups reviewing employment standards and labour relations have now been posted online, and the Alberta Government has issued a request for feedback regarding the application of employment standards and labour relations to the agricultural industry.”

The findings, which can be found on the Government of Alberta’s website www.alberta.ca not only provides the summary of the work group’s findings but also the methodology used.

“The Employment Standards Working Group is comprised of 12 people with very different backgrounds and very different stories about what “Farm Safety” means and what the government should and should not do about it,” Dave Gould, Chair of the Employment Standards Code Technical Working Group said in a pubic email to the Minister of Agriculture and Forestry and the Minister of Labour. “These were strong minded, well connected people with a passion for their communities and the assigned topics. In fact they had been selected to participate precisely because of their strongly held views and they were expected to represent fully those views in our work together.”

Some of the consensus findings found included standards of payments; standards of employment records; exemptions for hours of work on farms and ranches; vacation pay and standard holiday pay for non-family workers; workers under 16 years’ of age must not be impeded education and development; other family exemptions; and also that sufficient phase-in time be used to allow for proper implementation.

You can read all of the findings from the work group on the Government of Alberta’s website.

The Government is looking for public feedback on the work groups findings and has made an online feedback from available at www.alberta.ca/farm-and-ranch-consultations.aspx.

reporter@sylvanlakenews.com