The group says non-family workers aged 12 and 13 should be allowed to work a maximum of 20 hours per week. Parental consent needed for young workers For non-family workers under 16, the work must "not be detrimental to health, education, or welfare and parental consent must be obtained by employers." It suggests sufficient time be allowed to phase in changes and sessions be offered to teach farm owners about the employment standards. Another recommendation was that non-family workers under 16 be paid 75 per cent of the minimum wage rate, but that was not agreed to by the whole group. Alberta passed legislation that took effect in January 2016 to include farm and ranch workers in general occupational health and safety rules. The changes in that legislation ignited protests at the legislature and threats to Premier Rachel Notley and some of her cabinet. In May 2016, six technical working groups began developing recommendations on how employment standards, labour relations, and occupational health and safety requirements could be applied to meet the needs of the agriculture industry. The technical working groups that reviewed employment standards and labour relations, which included members from the agricultural sector, labour groups and technical experts, have completed their work. Their recommendations are now posted online and Albertans will have until April 3 to give feedback to government. Government will begin drafting legislative amendments based on the recommendations and any feedback. Liberal Leader David Swann said he fears the NDP will back down on protecting farm workers.
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