Bill 6: Alberta Farm and Ranch Workplace Legislation

The Enhanced Protection for Farm and Ranch Workers Act was passed December 10, 2015, only 23 days after first reading despite being met with widespread opposition in the public and the legislative assembly. This legislation, which came into effect January 1, 2016, applies to Alberta farm and ranch producers with paid employees and excludes family members, including children. As of January 1 the changes that affect paid, non-family workers include:

  • Workers' Compensation Board (WCB) insurance coverage for paid workers is mandatory. Employers will have until April 30 to register with WCB and will also have the option to purchase insurance coverage for family members and unpaid workers.
  • Occupational Health & Safety (OHS) basic safety standards being in effect. Employers must take reasonable steps to provide a safe and healthy workplace and workers will be able to refuse unsafe work that presents an imminent danger. OHS will be able to investigate serious injuries and fatalities. Detailed OHS technical standards specific to the farm and ranch industry will be developed or amended over the next 18 months.

The Government of Alberta has also announced that consultations will be held with farmers, ranchers and other stakeholders to design workplace regulations that reflect the unique nature of the farm and ranch industry. The consultations will focus on the following six tables:

  1. Employment Standards Table
  2. Labour Relations Table
  3. OHS: General Safety Regulations
  4. OHS: Best Practices for Safety within Existing Alberta Farming Operations
  5. OHS: Unique Consideration in Alberta Farming Operations and the Interpretation of OHS Legislation
  6. OHS: Relevant Technical Rules and the Education, Training Resources and Certification Required to implement Regulations

Chairs and members of these tables will be appointed in February 2016 with representatives being drawn from agricultural producer groups, municipal governments, agriculture service boards, labour, and individual producers and employees. WSGA will be putting forth nominations for representatives at these tables.

For more information and to provide further feedback, you can call the government information line at 1-866-415-8690. Or email them at


On the Alberta Government website:

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Related legislation: