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What does Alberta’s new compensation legislation mean for the construction business

The Lloydminster Construction Association met Thursday to discuss how the changes of two Alberta work compensation bills are impacting businesses. The first is Bill 17, the Fair and Family-friendly Workplaces Act and Bill 30, an Act to Protect the Health and Well-being of Working Albertans. Both bills have been in affect since the new year.

Vice President of the Construction Association John Winter says business owners need to be aware of how the changes will affect them and their employees.

“Seasonal businesses get maybe affected harder if you’re using the hour bank system it effects you, but there’s lots of changes more reporting and then some of the other changes are, depends on the size of your business too so if you’re over 20 employees if affects you more than, than if you’re under.”

MLA for Lloydminster and Vermilion Dr. Richard Starke believes that the Alberta Government have unintentionally created challenges for businesses that are weather depended such as the construction business.

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“While their legislation is well-intentioned in terms of providing workers with, you know more rights and more protection. It is also creating a scenario where workers are in fact going to be disadvantaged by their new laws.”

The disadvantages according to Starke are the new requirements of banking hours created in Bill 17.  Previously hours were banked on a 1 to 1 basis, but now are banked on a 1.5 to 1. Also, Bill 30 that has removed the cap on insurable earning resulting in some businesses having to pay more in Workers Compensation Board premiums.

Winter says they will be working with the Alberta Construction Association to see exactly how the changes will affect everyone and will do their best to advocate for their members.

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