Canadian Temporary Foreign Worker Guidelines to Undergo Major Revisions



A freshly published Canadian Gazette article has recently shed light on the forthcoming novel and drastic changes to be instilled onto the population group of temporary foreign workers within the Maple Country. On an average basis, temporary foreign workers are permitted to migrate to Canada provided they stick to either of the two pathways: the premium one is the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP) whereby Canadian organizations wishing to hire those not from the country to perform in job positions that are not usually taken up by fellow citizens or non-PR people; the second pathway is the International Mobility Program (IMP) whereby overseas candidates are permitted to try out for job positions that are also open as equal opportunities to those residing within Canada.

When discussing differences between jobs withheld under either of these pathways, the latter doesn’t mandatorily require an LMIA, while the former deems that necessary. Employers wishing to conduct recruitment services through the TFWP are all required to duly fill the Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) form. This indicates the effort put in by the potential employer to hire a Canadian but failing to do so eventually.

Many employers have raised their concerns regarding these novel rules, majorly centering on the fact that those applying through the TFWP aren’t able to completely gauge and excise their rights. Some of the prominent challenges cropped up are as follows:

  • TFWs being clueless about their potential rights and the meaning of them
  • TFWs being unable to have total access to quality healthcare services
  • TFWs being the recipient of being charged with illegal recruitment fees by potential hiring managers/employers
  • TFWs living under the constant fear of facing employer reprisal in case they decide to raise their voices against injustice prevalent around them. This also prevents employees from reporting or filing complaints against abusive behavior.
  • Employers that originally were found to not meet the eligibility requirements of the program, not abiding by the rules and regulations, and going against the law. This usually happens when such hiring personnel decide to conduct recruitments from other smaller/larger companies they may own

There is always an underlying sense of vulnerability associated with any TFW who lives/resides in a totally new country. This is why Canada and its authorities are hell-bent on diversifying situations pertaining to this subject within the country and have come up with the following modifications:

Every employer of a TFW is required by law to keep them well-informed about their individual rights and the regulations pertaining to their employment in the form of a written/printed document. The following data would also have to be publicly displayed in some area at the workplace for easy access to everyone present.

  • All employers are supposed to reproduce an employment agreement which is to be handed over both, to the government as well as the employee. It should contain all possible information regarding job position, working conditions prevalent at the time, salary/wages as accurately described from the job offer documentation.
  • Workplace conditions should be abuse-free, safe, and accommodating for everyone. It’s important to note that employer reprisal is considered to be a form of abuse too.
  • Permitting the Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) to duly pause an LMIA while it’s being processed in case the employer is suspected of being non-compliant with the rules, regulations, and guidelines kept in place.
  • Novel eligibility criteria for conducting LMIA grants. Some of these conditions include efforts to be put in place to ensure an abuse-free workplace, proof indicating how the hiring managers are respecting every rule and regulation as implemented by the provinces and the Canadian Federal Government, as well as the disallowance of an alter-ego/affiliate of an employer not complying with regulations involved in the hiring of a potentially interested TFW.

Reduction in the duration required for delivering a response by an employer for the Notice of Preliminary Findings (NoPF) to a value of 15 days from the initial period of 30 days. This usually has to do with concerns pertaining to non-compliance. A faster rate of resolution is possible owing to a reduction in reply time.

There shall be a stringent ban on those hiring managers or employers who continue to charge illegal recruitment fees from TFWs under their care.

There shall be a responsibility conferred upon the IRCC and the ESDC to collect and store documentation from third parties to ensure there is a fixed amount of compliance, for example, banking institutions.

Employers are also going to be required to take in consistent efforts towards providing quality healthcare access to their TFW employees who end up getting sick or get injured at the workplace. One such prime example is the installation of phone service at the workplace enabling those in need of health services to reach them easily.

All those employers belonging to the TFWP, barring those belonging to the Seasonal Agricultural Worker Program, need to complete payment of and also ensure the provision of private health insurance services to their employees, inclusive of medical care in case of emergencies. However, in today’s scenario, selected TFWPs do not need such protection.

The Canadian government acknowledges the fact that installation and implementation of such novel measures could lead to increased expenditure on businesses, with the recurrence of minimal outlays in place. There could be a collection of immense benefits such as enhanced clarity towards the employees, employers as well as the Canadian government. Strengthened protections will be enjoyed by the TFWs.

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