In this blog, we will look at the new amendments to the Temporary Foreign Worker Program.
Recently Immigration Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) and Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) have made announcements that they will be amending the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations concerning Temporary Foreign Workers (TFWs).
In total, there are 13 amendments planned to enhance protections for TFWs and strengthen the Temporary Foreign Workers Program (TFWP).
Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) has said that these regulations will protect Temporary Foreign Workers from being mistreated and getting abused in Canada by taking the following steps:
- By making it obligatory for employers to provide all TFWs with information about their rights in Canada;
- Disallowing retaliation by employers against workers, for example, any retaliation against those who file complaints; and,
- Forbidding employers from charging any fees for recruitment to workers and holding them accountable for the actions of recruiters in this regard.
Additionally, employers are accountable for providing access to healthcare services for their employees. They must offer private health insurance to be used by employees as required.
The department has stated that these changes are intended to discourage those with ill intentions from participating in the program and will enhance the program’s capacity to examine workplaces, implement the rules and take action against those who choose not to follow the rules.
One possible outcome of not following the rules is the discontinuation of the processing of any new Labour Market Impact Assessments (LMIAs). Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) is an essential document that an employer submits to ESDC that provides evidence that recruiting foreign labour will not harm Canada’s workforce or economy. All foreign employees should have a copy of this document to get a work permit to enter Canada.
ESDC can suspend the LMIA if the department has a good reason and evidence of non-compliance on the employer’s part with the new conditions and if there is a possibility of risk to the foreign worker’s safety and health.
Along with amendments, recently another meeting took place between the ESDC and stakeholders interested in making improvements to the Temporary Foreign Workers Program. It is predicted that similar meetings will be held over the coming years. Moreover, ESDC has also enforced further measures to improve the TFWP, which are as follows:
- Improving inspection tools and compulsory training to strengthen the quality and punctuality of inspections.
- Taking advantage of an enhanced hotline service, including live agents, permitting workers to flag any situation of abuse or misuse of the program in a confidential manner.
- Continuing to increase employers’ understanding of their responsibilities to promote compliance with the conditions of TFWP.
Increasing collaboration with consulates, provinces, and local authorities to help the department pinpoint concerns that need attention immediately and take action.
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