New Manitoba Employment Standards Expected to Attract Additional Workers to Agriculture

CANADA - Manitoba's Minister of Labour and Immigration is confident planned changes to Manitoba's Employment Standards Code will help ease a shortage of agricultural workers, Bruce Cochrane.
calendar icon 11 February 2008
clock icon 3 minute read

In June 2006 Manitoba's Employment Standards Code was changed based on recommendations contained in a Labour Management Review Committee report but agricultural workers were exempted pending further consultation.

Changes, planned to take effect this coming June, will extend those standards to agricultural workers based on four classifications.

Manitoba Labour and Immigration Minister Nancy Allan says agricultural employers have been losing workers to other segments of the economy and she believes these protections will help attract workers to agriculture.

Nancy Allan-Manitoba Minister of Labour and Immigration

One of the first things that we looked at was farm workers that were employed as family members and there will be no changes covering that particular sector so that will be status quo.

One of the areas we looked at is the farm workers that are employed on a farm in the grain farms and the vegetable industry.

They will receive some increased protections around minimum wage, termination notice, child employment, vacations, weekly day of rest, work breaks, unpaid leaves and restrictions on payroll deductions.

The other sector that's obviously going to be covered in the code is those workers that work in climate controlled facilities such as hog barns, mushroom plants and poultry operations and they will receive additional coverage and those workers will receive hours of work and overtime reporting pay and holidays.

And then there is a sector that services the agricultural industry, those individuals.

There's custom combining, businesses that actually go out and just help farmers get their crops off and they are going to be covered by all of the provisions in the code.

Allan notes her department will be working with the agriculture department over the next few months to ensure farm employers and employees fully understand the changes and how they will be affected.

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