Changes to Foreign Worker Program Puts Onus on Employers

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Employers will need to ensure a genuine job offer



Image source from L-plate big cheese on flickr

On April 1st, the Temporary Foreign Worker Program will include changes that will protect foreign workers from unacceptable work conditions offered by employers.  Human Resources and Skills Development Canada (HRSDC) and Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) are updating the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations.

Immigration Minister Jason Kenney spoke about the need to determine the validity of the jobs that employers are offering through more careful assessment.

“We saw a need for clear regulations to better protect workers from poor treatment and to ensure that the Temporary Foreign Workers Program continued to address short-term labour and skills shortages,” Kenney said.

The government will assess whether the employer is able to meet the terms of a job offer, and whether it is actively engaged in the province in which a Labour Market Opinion (LMO) is submitted.  Employers and third-party agents that act on their behalf will have to be deemed in compliance with the laws that regulate employment and recruitment.

Consequences for employers if conditions are not satisfactory

Employers will be held accountable if a job offer, either written or verbal, is not consistent with the job itself.  The wages and working conditions relating to the job offer to the temporary foreign worker must be “substantially the same” as they were throughout the two years preceding the LMO application.  In addition, Canadian “standards” will be necessary for rates.

If regulators discover any discrepancies, employers will be barred from hiring temporary workers for two years, and their names will be made public.

Employers must enforce a limit for how long workers can stay in Canada

If a temporary worker does not make a transition to becoming a permanent resident, employers are responsible for ensuring that the workers only stay in Canada for four years before returning home.

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