WCB – What Does It Mean for Your Farm? (PCN Winter 2016) JAN 11 2016 | Consumers and Producers | Pulse Crop News
This article appeared in the Winter 2016 issue of Pulse Crop News.
With the passage of Bill 6, mandatory workers’ compensation coverage will be required effective Jan. 1, 2016.
What does this mean for your farm? As a farm owner, you will be required to carry workers’ compensation coverage for paid workers on your farm. Family members and non-paid worker coverage at this point is optional. Farms will be required to have purchased WCB coverage prior to April 30, 2016. Many producers have had questions regarding WCB, including what is WCB all about, what are the benefits of having WCB, as well as what are the costs?
Workers’ compensation is a disability insurance that protects the employer and the employees against workplace injuries and illnesses. The coverage insures that all non-family paid workers are protected monetarily, and compensated for lost wages, medical and rehabilitation needs, if required. The employer (in most cases the farm corporation) and their workers are also afforded protection from lawsuits. The program is no fault, meaning that blame is not assigned in the event of an injury and compensation for lost wages is provided regardless of how the injury occurred.
The costs of coverage vary from operation to operation, depending on the relative risk of activities involved for day to day work activities. The preliminary rates for grain and crop farms are set at $2.25 per $100 of salary, or 2.25 per cent. Given the rate of $2.25, a typical crop farm would pay $1,125 annually to have coverage for $50,000 of paid and unpaid wages (if you chose to cover unpaid or family workers).
Farms will be required to estimate the value of all unpaid wages and volunteer work and submit those estimates to WCB to ensure those workers are covered. The rate of pay (paid wages and estimated value of wage for volunteer), multiplied by hours worked, aggregated in an overall value of wages per year will be required by WCB. Rates will be adjusted based on farm performance. Should you be accident and WCB claim free, your premiums will decrease over time and vice versa.
WCB also offers additional personal liability coverage which can provide farm owners and directors further protection from legal action. For further information, contact WCB. Make sure to inform yourself and ensure that you are in compliance.
For more information, visit www.wcb.ab.ca or call 1-866- 922-9221.
Industry & 2016 Rate
- Agri-tourism farms, greenhouses/market gardens, mushroom producers/bait farms: $1.70
- Apiaries, fishing/fish or fur farms, goat/sheep producers, hog producers, poultry/egg producers: $1.75
- Forage & peat moss processing, hay/grain/crop farming, harvesting/baling-custom: $2.25
- Beef producers, dairy farms, elk/bison producers, feed lots, livestock auctions/stockyards, llama/alpaca producers, riding academies/horse stables: $2.97