Atlantic Employers’ Counsel – Fall 2013
CHANGES, CHANGES AND MORE CHANGES: KEEPING UP WITH THE TEMPORARY FOREIGN WORKER PROGRAM
These days, Canada’s Temporary Foreign Worker Program (“TFWP”) is more top of mind than ever for Canadian employers. This is in part because of the many changes made by the Government of Canada to transform the TFWP over the last couple of years. It is also the result of two recent examples of employers bringing foreign workers to Canada that garnered significant media attention and got people talking and thinking about the role of Canada’s TFWP in an unprecedented manner.
10 THINGS EMPLOYERS NEED TO KNOW ABOUT EMPLOYING TEMPORARY FOREIGN WORKERS
What will happen at your workplace if a serious incident or fatality occurs? Will your managers know how to respond?
1. Local Labour and Employment Laws apply to all workers
All the local employment laws that apply to Canadian employees also apply to temporary foreign workers. This includes laws relating to overtime pay, holiday pay, vacations, job protection during statutory leaves (including maternity and parental leave), human rights, workers’ compensation and occupational health and safety.
WHO CAN EMPLOYEES BRING WITH THEM?
The willingness of foreign workers to accept employment in Canada is often influenced by the opportunities available for their family members. Knowing who employees can bring with them and whether their family members will be able to work or study upon arrival can improve foreign worker recruitment, integration and retention strategies. With a few exceptions, employees coming to Canada to work temporarily or permanently can bring their spouse and dependent children.
LABOUR MARKET OPINION EXEMPT WORK PERMITS: WHAT YOUR ORGANIZATION NEEDS TO KNOW
Normally, in order to hire a foreign worker, an employer must apply to Service Canada for positive Labour Market Opinion (“LMO”) confirmation before the worker is eligible to apply for a Canadian work permit. This can be a burdensome task, especially given recent changes to the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (“TFWP”) including the introduction of LMO processing fees and the increased advertising requirements. In addition, increased processing times across Canada mean that it can take upwards of four months to have an LMO processed.
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