Client Update: Nova Scotia Amends Foreign Worker Rules to Exempt Some Recruiters and Employers From Licensing and Registration Requirements

On May 19, 2011, Nova Scotia’s Labour Standards Code was amended to protect foreign workers from exploitation by recruiters and employers. These amendments imposed a requirement for third-party recruiters to obtain a license from the Province to recruit foreign workers for employment in Nova Scotia. They also introduced a requirement for employers to register with the Labour Standards Division before employing a foreign worker in Nova Scotia. The recruiter licensing process became mandatory on May 1, 2013, and employers of foreign workers have been required to register since August 1, 2013.

The purpose of these measures is to protect vulnerable foreign workers from unfair treatment and from being charged illegal placement fees. When the recruiter licensing and employer registration regimes came into effect the Province received feedback from various stakeholders who complained about the overly broad and burdensome nature of these requirements.

In recognition that some aspects of Nova Scotia’s foreign worker rules applied to the recruitment and hiring of individuals who are not vulnerable, amendments were made to the General Regulations Respecting Labour Standards on September 10, 2013 to exempt certain third-party recruiters and employers of foreign workers from the licensing and registration requirements. These changes function to more narrowly focus the provincial regulations governing the recruitment and hiring of foreign workers on those who are more vulnerable, by virtue of the skill level of their job, by exempting certain types of employers (and those who recruit foreign workers for them) from these requirements.

Foreign Worker Recruiter License

Previously any third party engaged in foreign worker recruitment for a Nova Scotia employer was required to hold a license issued by Labour Standards. Following last week’s amendments, recruiters no longer require a license to engage in the following types of foreign worker recruitment activities on behalf of Nova Scotia employers:

1. Recruiting foreign workers for jobs with the following types of entities:

  • Provincial “Government Reporting Entities” such as provincial government departments, crown corporations, health authorities, the Nova Scotia Community College and school boards.
  • Municipalities.
  • Universities.

2. Recruiting foreign workers for management and professional positions that fall within skill type 0 and skill level A occupations on the National Occupational Classification (“NOC”) Matrix developed by Human Resources and Skills Development Canada in partnership with Statistics Canada. Based on skill type and level, the exempt occupations include:

 

    • Management Occupations (NOC 0) – The NOC Matrix lists management occupations in a variety of industries in this skill type classification including executive roles, senior managers, legislators, managers in health care, corporate sales managers and managers in human resources, finance, construction, information technology and retail.
    • Professional Occupations (NOC A) – The professional occupations included as NOC A roles in the NOC Matrix include accountants, physicians, lawyers, teachers, professors, dentists, librarians, translators, psychologists, engineers, mathematicians and scientists.

    Third-party recruiters, however, are only exempt from the licensing requirement if their recruitment of foreign workers for employment in Nova Scotia is restricted to NOC 0 and A positions. Any recruiter that also searches to fill NOC B (high-skilled), C (semi-skilled) or D (low-skilled) positions with foreign workers must be licensed by Nova Scotia. Recruiters who conduct overseas recruitment efforts to fill NOC 0 and A roles are permitted to recruit domestically for NOC B, C and D positions without needing a license.

    Not all recruiters qualify for a license to recruit foreign workers for employment in Nova Scotia. Only members in good standing with a provincial or territorial bar society, the Chamber des notaires du Quebec or the Immigration Consultants of Canada Regulatory Council are eligible to apply for a license. The newly implemented recruiter licensing exemptions are, therefore, good news for executive search firms in Canada and the Nova Scotia employers who rely on their expertise. The requirement to become licensed was particularly problematic since most professional search firms do not have (or otherwise require) a lawyer or immigration consultant actively involved in searches that extend beyond Canada’s borders.

    Employer Registration Process

    The regulatory amendments also identify certain employers who are exempt from the requirement to hold a registration certificate to hire foreign workers in Nova Scotia. These amendments mirror the exemptions that were added to the recruiter licensing regime such that the following types of employers no longer require a registration certificate:

 

  • Provincial government reporting entities, municipalities and universities.
  • Employers seeking to hire foreign workers in management (NOC 0) or professional (NOC A) occupations listed on the NOC Matrix.

Employers who fit into one of these exemptions and who use a third-party recruiter are also exempt from the requirement to use a licensed recruiter, provided the recruiter is also exempt from needing a license.

Over the last few months, Labour Standards has taken steps to refine the employer registration process to make it easier for Nova Scotia employers. Employers can now apply for a single registration certificate on an annual basis, rather than applying for a new registration certificate each time they wish to recruit and/or hire a foreign national. If, however, the information upon which a registration certificate is issued changes significantly, employers are required to advise Labour Standards. A significant change includes working with a new third-party recruiter or recruiting foreign workers for employment in different skill level than originally planned.

An employer registration application may be completed and submitted online through the Access to Business portal, or by printing the application form from the Labour Standards website, completing it and submitting it by mail, fax or email. Completing an employer registration application requires some amount of projection for the coming year as employers are asked to indicate the number of foreign workers, positions and source countries from which they plan to recruit.

What this Means to You

There is interplay between Nova Scotia’s foreign worker rules and federal immigration laws. Nova Scotia employers (and their third-party recruiters) must demonstrate compliance with provincial laws governing employment and the recruitment of foreign workers before they will be issued a labour market opinion (“LMO”) from Service Canada. Similarly, Citizenship and Immigration Canada and the Canada Border Services Agency have authority to request proof of compliance with these laws when adjudicating LMO-exempt work permit applications from foreign workers. For these reasons, adherence to the employer registration and recruiter licensing regimes is of utmost importance to Nova Scotia employers who rely on Canada’s Temporary Foreign Worker Program to supplement their work force during labour shortages.

SHARE

Archive

Search Archive


Generic filters
Filter by Custom Post Type

 
 

Client Update: Not a “token gesture”: Nova Scotia Court of Appeal confirms deductibility of future CPP disability benefits from tort damages

January 18, 2019

Jennifer Taylor In an important decision for the auto insurance industry, the Nova Scotia Court of Appeal has confirmed that future CPP disability benefits are indeed deductible from damages awarded in Nova Scotia cases for…

Read More

Client Update: Change is the only constant – Bill C-86 changes in federal labour and employment regulation

January 18, 2019

Brian Johnston, QC and Matthew Jacobs Bill C-86, enacted as SC 2018, c. 27, will effect massive changes upon how federal labour and employment relations are regulated. They come into effect in 2019 with staggered…

Read More

2018 Year in Review: Atlantic Canada Labour & Employment Law Developments

January 17, 2019

We can all make 2019 a success by building on the year that was. For employers, 2018 was a year of many notable developments in labour and employment law across the country. We saw Ontario…

Read More

Client Update: Atlantic Canada pension and benefits countdown to 2019

December 28, 2018

Level Chan and Dante Manna As 2018 comes to an end, we countdown some pension and employee benefits developments in the last year that we anticipate may lead to developments in 2019. Discrimination in benefits…

Read More

Client Update: Canada’s Proposed Cannabis Edibles, Extracts and Topicals Regulations Revealed

December 21, 2018

Kevin Landry The first look at regulations for cannabis edibles, extracts and topicals has arrived. The Federal Government has opened a 60-day consultation period respecting the strict regulation of additional cannabis products. Notice of the consultation was accompanied…

Read More

Client Update: Recent Supreme Court of Nova Scotia decision drives home the importance of credibility

December 20, 2018

Erin Best and Kara Harrington “This case is about pain, how it was caused, by what accident and the opinions of dueling experts.”¹ “In this case, like so many, the assessment of the evidence depends…

Read More

Client Update: Land use planning in Prince Edward Island: the year in review

December 20, 2018

Jonathan Coady and Michael Fleischmann Overview Once again, the time has come to review the year that was and to chart the course for the year ahead. For municipalities, developers and planning professionals throughout Prince…

Read More

Client Update: Nova Scotia Labour Standard Code changes – domestic violence leave & pregnancy / parental eligibility

December 14, 2018

Following the various Stakeholder Consultations (which Stewart McKelvey participated in on behalf of Nova Scotia Employers), the Government has changed the Labour Standards Code Regulations effective January 1, 2019 to: a) provide for up to…

Read More

Client Update: Coming to Canada? You may need biometrics / Mise à Jour : Vous pensez bientôt venir au Canada? Vous pourriez avoir besoin de fournir vos données biométriques

December 6, 2018

Version française à suivre Sara Espinal Henao Canada has expanded its permanent and temporary immigration requirements to include biometrics – the measurement of unique physical characteristics, such as fingerprints and facial features. The new requirements,…

Read More

Proposed Changes to IP Law: Will they impact your business?

December 3, 2018

Many businesses rely on trade-mark, copyright, and patent law for the protection of their intellectual property (IP). The Federal Government recently proposed changes to IP laws, which may impact your business. Bill C-86, Budget Implementation Act,…

Read More

Search Archive


Generic filters
Filter by Custom Post Type