Changes to Alberta’s Employment Standards include farms and ranches

The Government of Alberta is making some resolutions for the new year. As of January 1, 2018, farm and ranch owners will have some new Employment Standards rules to abide by.

The changes are part of Bill 17: The Fair and Family-friendly Workplaces Act, and will apply to farms and ranches that “employ waged, non-family employees.”

The rules will see employees granted four days of rest for every 28 days. Employees will also be subject to existing employment standards, including (but not limited to):

  • Minimum wage ($13.60/h effective October 1, 2017 and $15/h as of October 1, 2018)
  • Unpaid, job-protected leaves after 90 days of employment, including maternity, parental, reservist, compassionate care, bereavement, domestic violence, long-term illness and injury leave and others.
  • Vacations and vacation pay
  • General holidays (nine per year)
  • Standards on payment of earnings and employment records; termination notice/pay; and administration and enforcement

As of May 1, 2018, the rules will expand to those employing youth, with exceptions around “youth involved in household chores or activities, such as 4-H or branding parties,” as they are not considered employees.

For other jobs, according to the Employment Standards – Farms and Ranches poster, youth:

  • 12 years old and under cannot be employed on farms and ranches.
  • 13-15 years old can only be employed for “light work”, or other non-hazardous work authorized by a permit from the Director of Employment Standards.
  • 16-17 years old can’t be employed in hazardous work unless authorized by permit, and given the proper training and supervision.

Alberta Labour will define hazardous work and update the list of allowable light work jobs. Those not listed will require a permit.

The provincial government says it intends to host agriculture-specific webinars in the New Year.

For more detail, head to Alberta’s Employment Standards.

 

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