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Alberta overhauls workplace rules for farms, small operations to be exempt

Last Updated Nov 21, 2019 at 6:47 am MDT

Agriculture Minster Devin Dreeshan announces an overhaul of farm legislation on Nov 20, 2019 (CREDIT: @GrantHUnterUCP, Twitter)

EDMONTON – The majority of Alberta farm operations would no longer have to follow employment standards rules or have workplace insurance under a bill introduced in the legislature.

The bill also states that farmworkers would no longer have the right to unionize or bargain collectively.

The proposed legislation, introduced by Agriculture Minister Devin Dreeshen, overhauls many of the farm and ranch rules put in place by the former NDP government.

Right now, all paid farm workers – excluding family members – must have Workers’ Compensation Board coverage for death, dismemberment and disability.

Farms must also abide by employment standards covering minimum wage, leaves, termination notices and record-keeping.

Under the new bill, those rules would only apply to large agricultural operations.