Canada has announced proposed updates to the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations (IRPR) to "strengthen protections for temporary foreign workers to prevent potential mistreatment or abuse during their period of employment in Canada." The proposed amendments would improve temporary foreign worker protections under the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP) path and the International Mobility Program (IMP). According to the announcement, 'between 2016 and 2020, the TFWP received over 300 tips of allegations of abuse and mistreatment through the Service Canada Confidential Tip Line.'
What Is The Temporary Foreign Worker Program?
The goal of Canada's Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP) is to fill short-term labour shortages and it is a last resort for employers to fill jobs for which qualified Canadians are not available. To work in Canada as a TFW a job offer is required, and the employer must complete an LMIA to determine if hiring a foreign national will have a positive or negative impact on the Canadian economy.
What Is The International Mobility Program?
The International Mobility Program (IMP) lets an employer hire a temporary foreign worker without a Labour Market Impact Assessment. You must apply for an Open Work Permit to work for any employer for a specified period of time. There are two types of Open Work Permits:
- Restricted Open Work Permit
- Unrestricted Open Work Permit
Proposed Updates To Temporary Foreign Worker Program
The July TFWP announcement includes the following proposed protections:
- Providing information to temporary foreign workers about their rights in Canada
- Providing an employment agreement to the temporary foreign worker
- Amending the definition of “abuse” to include “reprisal” against temporary foreign workers
- Prohibit employers from charging or recovering fees for the provision of services in relation to an LMIA, employer compliance fee and recruitment fees and require that employers ensure that any recruiters they use do not charge these fees
- Requiring documents from third parties
- Reducing timelines to respond to notices of preliminary findings
- Suspend processing of a request for an LMIA when there is reason to suspect employer non-compliance with certain regulatory conditions
- New assessment requirements for employers applying for an LMIA
- Make wage and labour dispute factors stand-alone LMIA requirements
The proposed amendments Canada's government recognizes both the transition and ongoing costs to IRCC (Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada) and ESDC (Employment and Social Development Canada) as a result of the regulatory proposal.
- Ongoing costs for the government would primarily be due to increased processing costs for IRCC and ESDC, estimated at $6,360,333 (PV) over 10 years.
- The total cost for employers to provide materials to workers is estimated at $6,391,171 (PV) over 10 years.
- The total administrative cost to businesses to attest or commit that they will meet program requirements is estimated at $643,296 (PV) over 10 years.
The proposed changes should bring benefits and protections to temporary foreign workers, the government and employers.
The regulations will come into force at 00:00:01 a.m. Eastern daylight time on the 30th day after the day on which they are registered.
Ackah Law Can Help Your Business Thrive
We can simplify the immigration process for employers who hire temporary foreign workers. Contact Ackah Law BEFORE you try to cross the Border (403) 452‑9515.