The Government of Alberta has committed to many changes in employment standards for farm and ranch workers. Alberta Pork recognizes that there is a lot of confusion surrounding these changes, and there may be some issues with the new standards going forward; however, we will work through this change and continue to seek safety on the farm through education and common sense. Over the next few weeks, we will be sending out regular “Worker Wednesday” articles to help producers understand how they are affected by these new changes. This week will cover a general overview of the new Employment Standards
What do these Employment Standards cover?
Employment Standards legislation sets minimum standards for conditions of employment. These include hours of work, overtime, holidays, vacation, minimum wage, and rules for the employment of youth.
When do the new rules apply?
The rules were effective January 1, 2018, these rules apply to farms and ranches with waged, non-family workers, including year-round or seasonal employees. Effective May 1, 2018, the rule specific to youth workers on farms and ranches will apply.
Who do Employment Standards apply to?
Minimum standards for employment apply to farms and ranches with waged, non-family employees, including seasonal and year-round employees. These rules don’t apply to friends and neighbours who choose to help each other out. These standards do apply to Temporary Foreign Workers.
What does the Government consider a farming and ranching operation?
Any operation that deals in the production of eggs, milk, grains, seeds, fruits and vegetables, honey, and livestock. This means that all pork farms are considered a “farming and ranching operation” under the government’s definition. Greenhouses, Nurseries, Mushroom farms, and Sod farms are not considered farms or ranches; therefore, all minimum requirements under normal Employment Standards apply to those operations.
Who does the Government classify as a “family member?”
Employment Standards rules don’t apply to owners and their family members. ‘Owner’ means a shareholder, sole proprietor or partner.
Family members of the owner include the following:
- Spouse (married), common-law partner, or adult-interdependent partner
- Children, step-children, their spouse
- Parent, step-parent, their spouse
- Sibling, half-sibling, step-sibling, their spouse
- Grandparent, step-grandparent, their spouse
- Aunt, uncle, step-aunt, step-uncle, their spouse
- Niece, nephew, their spouse
- First cousin, their spouse
If you have further questions about this law, you can call the Alberta Employment Standards office toll-free at 1-877-427-3731. You should also visit the website alberta.ca/ESchanges for complete information. Alberta Pork will continue to keep producers informed in future communications; next week’s Worker Wednesday will cover the laws surrounding pay, rest days, and general holiday