Bill 6, the Enhanced Protection for Farm and Ranch Workers Act: How’s it Working?

On December 10, 2015, the Government of Alberta passed Bill 6, the Enhanced Protection for Farm and Ranch Workers Act. Bill 6, much of it implemented on Jan 1, 2016, has generated considerable controversy in the Province.  Bill 6 repeals the exemptions for farm and ranch workers that are found in a range of legislation. Generally speaking, Bill 6 affects four aspects of the employment relationship: general working conditions, the right to organize, worker safety, and WCB coverage for non-family workers by repealing earlier exemptions.

As a result of the controversy generated by Bill 6, the Government of Alberta amended Bill 6 to allow owners, family members and neighbours to work on farms and ranches without being subject to all of the rules and restrictions as other workers. Specifically, the parts of Bill 6 pertaining to OHS regulations and workers compensation were amended to exclude paid farm and ranch owners and their family members, as well as friends and neighbours who do not work for wages as defined by the Employment Standards Code.

The speaker will present information from an Occupational Health and Safety perspective.  What changes came about as a result of the new legislation? How was the legislation changed? What is the definition of a worker or employer reportable incident? What does OHS jurisdiction look like? What are the trends we are seeing after the first year and, what is still to come?    Speaker: Mike Rappel, CRSP, EMT-P (ret), OHS Officer Born and raised in Grande Prairie, AB, Mike began his career working as a paramedic for 10 years in Northern Alberta stationed in Hinton, Spirit River and Grande Prairie. He worked rural EMS in Alberta for almost 10 years. In 2001, he moved over to Alberta Occupational Health and Safety as an OHS Officer. Over his 15 years with that department, Mike has conducted inspections and investigations into just about every industry in Alberta.   In Sept 2015, he was asked to be a part of organizing the farm and ranch team responsible for investigating and inspecting farm, ranch, and agricultural work sites in the province as related to the expected changes to legislation in January 2016. Mike has strong ties to the farming community.  Much of his family still reside on the family farms in Spirit River, Fahler, Manning and Camrose areas, growing wheat & canola, and raising cattle. The original homestead in the Spirit River area is still owned by his family to this day more than 90 years after it was first homesteaded. Moderator:   Heather Oxman Date: Thursday, April 6, 2017 Time: Noon - 1:30 PM (30 minutes each for presentation, lunch and Q & A) Location: Country Kitchen Catering (Lower level of The Keg) 1715 Mayor Magrath Dr. S Cost: $12.00 (includes lunch) or $2.00 (includes coffee/tea)

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