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Canada Immigration: New rules to protect temporary foreign workers

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Canada has come up with amendments to strengthen protections for the Temporary Foreign Workers (TFWs).

According to a report by CIC News, Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) and Immigration Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) have both come together to announce the 13 amendments to the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations concerning Temporary Foreign Workers (TFWs). All the 13 amendments are designed to strengthen protections for TFWs and enhance the TFWP.

The TFWP is a program which allows employers to hire internationally to fill in the labour force gaps. TFWs have the same rights as Canadian citizens or permanent residents.

Also Read: From services to working hours, Canada announces slew of benefits for foreign students

Benefits of the new regulation or amendment:

These regulations will protect TFWs from abuse and mistreatment in the country. Apart from this, ESDC has also said that the rules will also mandate employers to provide TFWs with information about their rights in the country. 

As per ESDC, It will also prohibit reprisal by employers against workers, for instance against those who come forward with complaints. It will also prohibit employers from charging recruitment fees to workers and holding them accountable for the actions of recruiters in this regard.

Also read: Canada Express Entry: Record 4,250 permanent resident invites issued in latest draw

With the rules, employers are also responsible for providing access to healthcare services for their employees with the issuance of private health insurance.

ESDC has also said that these amendments will also intend to deter bad actors from participating in the TFWP. Apart from the employees, the regulations will improve the TFWP’s ability to inspect workplaces, enforce the rules and administer appropriate consequences for those who choose not to follow the rules.

From the above mentioned regulations, ESDC has also implemented other measures like mandatory training, allowing workers to flag any situation of abuse or misuse of the program, raise employers’ awareness and expanding collaboration with consulates. If an employer fails to follow the new regulations, suspension of LMIAs would happen.

To hire any foreign employee, an employer must submit Labour Market Impact Assessments (LMIAs) document to the ESDC. Without this, the employer can hire only Canadian or permanent citizens. 

Immigration Minister Sean Fraser said, “In Canada, the rights of all workers—including temporary foreign workers—are protected by law.”

“The International Mobility Program (IMP) sets requirements and conditions for hiring TFWs in Canada and issues open work permits to vulnerable employees who are experiencing unjust work environments so they can quickly find new employers. With these new regulations in place, the Government of Canada is strengthening its ability to protect temporary foreign workers and is enhancing its capacity to prevent potential mistreatment or abuse during TFWs period of employment in Canada,” he said.

Canada is grappling with historic labour shortages and an unemployment rate. As per the latest statistics, Canada’s unemployment rate fell to 5.2 percent in September, down from 5.4 percent in August. Canada is among the world’s leading destinations for international students.

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