The Alberta government has recently introduced the Farm Freedom and Safety Act (FFSA)*, which impacts workplace insurance requirements for farms and ranches. These changes will take effect January 31, 2020.
Here’s what’s changing:
- Larger employers now have a choice in insurance providers. Employers with six or more employees are required to ensure their waged, non-family workers are covered either through WCB or private insurance.
- Workplace insurance is optional for small employers. Employers are not required to have workplace insurance if they have five or fewer employees, or hire workers for less than six consecutive months.
Family members and non-waged workers will continue to be exempt; however, the definition of family members has changed. Family members include, whether by blood, marriage, adoption or by virtue of an adult interdependent relationship:
- Immediate family (i.e., spouses or adult interdependent partners, children, parents, siblings).
- Extended family (i.e., grandparents, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, first cousins).
*Note: Under the legislation, workers' compensation requirements for greenhouses, nurseries, mushroom and sod farms remain mandatory.
What does this mean to you?
It’s important you understand what coverage is in place if you’re injured at work—you can ask your employer for information about their workplace insurance coverage.
If you've been hurt at work and your employer has WCB coverage, find out more about what you can expect throughout the claim process. You can confirm if your employer has workers’ compensation coverage with WCB by calling us at 1-866-922-9221.
For injuries prior to January 31, 2020:
If you have an accepted workers’ compensation claim before January 31, 2020, your entitlement to benefits and support will not be impacted if your employer chooses to close their account. We will continue to provide you with support for any future benefit and service needs resulting from your injury.