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Canada Targets Employers Who Break Temporary Foreign Worker Program Rules

By cvf, 05/15/2024


Canada is cracking down on employers who break the rules of the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP), issuing fines totaling $2.7 million last year.

The rulings were against 194 non-compliant employers.

Some employers have also been suspended from hiring temporary foreign workers, protecting newcomers from exploitation.  

Employers under the TFWP need to meet strict obligations when hiring overseas. They must:  

  • meet the requirements of the: 
    • Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) 
    • terms of the LMIA decision letter 
    • annexes to the decision letter 
    • Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations (IRPR) 
  • keep all relevant records for six years beginning on the first day of the period of employment for which IRCC issued the work permit, including: 
    • documents related to the LMIA 
    • documents related to the conditions set out in the IRPR 
    • conditions outlined the LMIA decision letter and its annexes 
  • inform IRCC immediately of: 
    • any changes or errors with an approved LMIA 
    • changes in TFW working conditions 
  • address any compliance issues and voluntarily notify IRCC 

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An inspection may be undertaken by IRCC, under the IRPR, if it suspects non-compliance of any sort. If employers have been non-compliant in the past, that could also provide reasonable grounds for initiating an inspection. Random selection may also be utilised for inspection.  

From April 1, 2022 to March 31, 2023, 116 non-compliant employers have been found, of whom 93 were subject to administrative monetary penalties worth a total $1.54 million.  

During the same time-frame, 1,011 inspections found that employers were “compliant with justification,” that is, they were able to justify initial issues during the inspection and correct them, according to The Globe and Mail.  

An inspection can typically result in:  

  • A satisfactory outcome: Nothing needs to be done by the employer and the inspection is complete.  
  • The detection of compliance issues: IRCC will send the employer an initial finding of non-compliance, It will ask them to justify why they were not compliant with the TFWP. When the reason is provided,  
    • IRCC could accept it and the inspection is complete.  
    • IRCC rejects or the employer fails to provide a reason, in which case IRCC will issue a notice of preliminary finding (NOPF).  

In the latter case, employers have one final opportunity to respond and provide new information or documentation regarding their justification.  

If the final assessment concludes with the violation(s), Ottawa will issue a notice of final determination (NOFD), which explains: 

  • the reason(s) for the ruling: 
    • the condition(s) violated 
    • how the employer failed to comply 
  • the consequence(s), and 
  • the next steps 

Penalties could reach up to $100,000 per violation, to a maximum of $1 million per year.  

This year, the average fine imposed on every employer went up drastically:  

  • $28,836 in 2024 so far 
  • $13,841 in 2023 
  • $11,606 in 2022 
  • $9,761 in 2021 
  • $3,077 in 2022 

The Globe and Mail previously reported that in the last three months of 2023, employers were approved to fill upwards of 81,000 positions through the TFWP.  

However, the Globe and Mail report further detailed the opinion of McMaster University Professor Catherine Connelly on the matter, who said that it could open up the possibility of exploitation.  

“There’s a subset of companies that are using the Temporary Foreign Worker Program because they’re very poorly managed to begin with,” she said.  

“They are not able to keep local workers. So their Hail Mary pass is ‘Okay, we’re gonna get temporary foreign workers who cannot quit.’” 

Last year, IRCC released its Departmental Results Report for fiscal year 2022 to 2023, ESDC, under which it was found that more than 2,100 employer inspections were completed, and of these, 95% were found compliant.  

In 7 cases, employers were banned from accessing the TFWP for various periods of time. 

As per the report, the department also continued making improvements to the quality and timeliness of employer inspections and initiated the work to strengthen its compliance regime. 

The post Canada Targets Employers Who Break Temporary Foreign Worker Program Rules appeared first on Canada Immigration and Visa Information. Canadian Immigration Services and Free Online Evaluation..

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