Exemption to New WCB Requirements Called for

CANADA - Manitoba pork producers are calling on government to allow farms to continue using private insurance rather than Workers Compensation, writes Bruce Cochrane.
calendar icon 2 September 2008
clock icon 3 minute read

Last week the Manitoba government announced it will expand the number of industries required to provide coverage for employees through the Workers Compensation Board effective January 1, 2009.

The change is expected to bring 7,500 additional employers and 30,000 more workers, including agricultural workers under the WCB umbrella.

Manitoba Pork Council chairman Karl Kynoch says the fear is that businesses will be required to replace private insurance packages that offer better coverage with Workers compensation.

Karl Kynoch-Manitoba Pork Council

Right now some of the private insurance, they get more coverage for less money.

And for example some of them are covered for long term disability, some of the producers provide dental plans, plans for glasses and other medicare expenses.

There's a lot more coverage that they give so this is going to cost more for less coverage.

The other thing that workers have right now in some of the private insurance, is they're not just covered when they're at work, they're also covered when they are off of work.

They could be gone playing hockey and they're covered.

But now with the Wpworkers Compensation Board, if the producers are forced to take it, the employees are going to lose that because the workers composition board only covers them while they're at work.

One thing that we would like to see is that the government would allow the producers who have private insurance, especially some of this private insurance that is either equal to or is even better than what the workers compensation board is offering and it's for less money, we would really like to see the government allow those producers to continue to use their private insurance and if the director's OK with it allow them to stay out of the workers compensation board.

Kynoch applauds provisions which exempt family members from the new requirement.

He says for a lot of the small family-operated farms, if they're not bringing in labour, they will still have free choice of whether to go through private insurance.

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