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How to enrol your farm workers in WCB

Farm Management: Now that you want to sign your farm up for Workers Comp, here’s the “how to”

Now that you know why you should enrol your farm in Workers’ Comp here’s how to do it.

In Alberta, applying is as easy as visiting the Workers’ Compensation Board Alberta website (www.wcb.ab.ca). There’s a search engine on the main page. If you search for “farm,” you’ll get to a page called “Farming Coverage.” Right there, you can click on the link “Register for your account today,” and also find more information about the costs and benefits, and what to do if a worker is injured.

If you’d rather fill out a paper form, you can access that form on this same webpage, print it out, and fax it in (fax number is on the form, 780-498-7999).

If Alberta employers have questions, they call 1-866-922-9221.

“Getting enrolled is pretty straightforward,” says Ben Dille, corporate communications for the Workers’ Compensation Board of Alberta.

Premiums really depend on the industry, even within the agriculture sector. For example, dairy farms and beef producers are on the higher end of the scale ($2.97 for every $100 of insurable earnings), while greenhouses and mushroom producers are at the low end ($1.70 per every $100). Grain farming is around the middle of the Agriculture sector’s rates in Alberta at $2.25 per hundred dollars of insurable earnings.

Managing in Manitoba

 

In Manitoba, you can visit the Manitoba Workers Compensation Board website to sign up, says Warren Preece, director of communications for the Workers Compensation Board of Manitoba.

You’ll go to www.wcb.mb.ca and click on the “Employer” tab on that main page. Under that tab, you’ll see a whole bunch of options and you’ll want to click on the first one, “Assessments.” At the top of that page you’ll see “Register Your Business” and you can click on the online form if you’d like to register online.

If you’d rather not do it online, “you phone us up and we ask you questions and we write down the answers and then you’re registered. It is just a matter of contacting us,” says Preece. The toll free number is 1-855-954-4321. If you call that number someone can help get you set up and answer any questions about annual rates, classifications, etc.

“Rates are changed based on what your payroll is. You’ll be assigned an entry rate and you’ll be charged for every $100 of payroll. Whatever you are paying your staff, it’ll be X amount per $100,” says Preece. According to the Workers Compensation Board of Manitoba’s website, rates for 2017 have dropped by 12 per cent, “allowing the WCB to offer Manitoba employers the second lowest rate in the country.”

Your premium will be determined by that sector classification and what you are paying out to employees. 2017 rates for Manitoba are $1.98 per $100 of insurable earnings for crop production, livestock production or custom harvesting.

Signing up in Saskatchewan

In Saskatchewan the process to enrol is very much the same as the others discussed above. You can visit the Saskatchewan Workers’ Compensation Board website at www.wcbsask.com and click on the Employers tab. Here you’ll find links called “Register Your Business,” where you’ll find a registration form to fill out.

Because registration for the farming sector isn’t mandatory in this province, you also have to fill out a voluntary coverage form. Find is by choosing the “Employer” tab, then the “Employer Forms and Fact Sheets.” The “Voluntary Coverage Application for Farming” is at the bottom of the alphabetical list.

Information about rates is found under the “Classification and Rate Setting,” and, like the other provinces, is based on a calculation of your every $100 of payroll and the sector you belong in (in this case, agriculture). Farming and ranching rates are $1.70 per $100 of insurable earnings in 2017.

If you’d rather apply over the phone and bypass the website, you can call Saskatchewan Workers’ Comp at 1-800-667-7590 and someone can help.

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