Workers' compensation: Farm and ranch legislation

WCB coverage has been extended to farm and ranch operations with non-family paid employees as of January 1, 2016.

WCB provides no-fault insurance coverage in the event of a work-related injury. Protection is provided to workers and employers regardless of who caused the work injury.

WCB insurance coverage is mandatory for most employers and workers in Alberta. It is the only insurance that offers protection from lawsuit for all parties covered by WCB.

Extending coverage to the farm industry will provide owners, workers and their families with liability protection and financial support in the event of a workplace injury or death.

Who’s affected

Coverage for farm operations with paid employees is mandatory as of January 1, 2016. Operations have until April 30, 2016 to register with WCB.

Unpaid workers, family members and children will not be covered under WCB unless an owner chooses to opt them in to protect the farm from liability in the case of an accident, and provide coverage for medical assistance and income replacement.

These family exclusions apply in the case of farms and ranches that are:

  • a sole proprietorship where the owner is a family member
  • a partnership in which the only shareholding partners are family members
  • an incorporated company, where the only shareholders are family members

Estimated cost

Rates are based on the risk and size of an operation. A large operation with many workers would pay higher premiums than a small farm.

As a general guideline, the typical rates would apply per $100 of insurable earnings:

  • $1.70 - Agri-tourism farms, greenhouses/market gardens, mushroom producers, bait farms
  • $1.75 - Apiaries, fishing/fish or fur farms, goat/sheep producers, hog producers, poultry/egg producers
  • $2.25 - Forage & peat moss processing, hay/grain/crop farming, harvesting/baling-custom
  • $2.97 - Beef producers, dairy farms, elk/bison producers, feed lots, livestock auctions/stockyards, llama/alpaca producers, riding academies/horse stables

Please contact the WCB to get an accurate quote and to register your operation.

Workers' Compensation Board (WCB)