December 6, 2022
New Amendments to Employer Compliance Regimes
To increase protection of temporary foreign workers while they are in Canada, new amendments to the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations (Temporary Foreign Workers) came into force on 26 September 2022. Employers utilizing the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP) and the International Mobility Program (IMP) should be aware of these changes and adopt corresponding new measures and policies to stay compliant. The objective of the TFWP is to address labour shortages so that employers can hire temporary foreign workers to fill positions when qualified Canadians or permanent residents are not available. The IMP facilitates the issuance of work permits to foreign workers without a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA).
This article provides a brief summary of the important changes to the employer compliance requirements:
- Employers must provide up-to-date information to temporary foreign workers about their rights in Canada on or before the first day of work. This information must be available to the foreign workers throughout their period of employment.
- Employers must provide an employment agreement to temporary foreign workers, which must be signed by both the employer and the foreign worker on or before the first day of work.
- Employers are prohibited from charging or recovering fees (e.g., employer compliance fees, fees relating to recruitment, fees for the provision of services related to LMIAs) from temporary foreign workers.
- Employers are required to make reasonable efforts to provide temporary foreign workers with access to health care services when they are injured or become ill at the workplace.
- For employers under the TFWP, they must obtain and pay for private health insurance covering emergency medical care during the period when the LMIA-based work permit holders are not covered by the provincial or territorial health insurance system. The only exemption to this is for employers who employ foreign workers under an agreement reached between Canada and another country concerning seasonal agricultural workers, where the agreement includes health insurance.
- Employers are required to make reasonable efforts to provide a workplace that is free of abuse. The new amendment has updated the definition of abuse to include “reprisal” against temporary foreign workers (e.g., actual or threats of demotion, disciplinary measure, or dismissal).
- ESDC and IRCC will have the authority to require documents relating to the employer’s compliance with regulatory conditions from third parties (e.g., banks, payroll companies).
For an overview of the new amendments, please check this link: New amendments to the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations (temporary foreign workers) – Canada.ca
This article is prepared for information only and it is not intended to be legal advice. If you require further information on the new amendments or any advice on work permit matters, please consult one of our team members.