Canada’s Move to Boost Temporary Foreign Workers’ Earnings
Canada’s economic landscape has seen a flux in unemployment rates, with a notable rate of 5.5% as of September 2023. While signs of labour shortages are easing, the rebound is inconsistent across different sectors. Industries like hospitals, food manufacturing, construction, and accommodation and food services still face labour scarcities.
Table of contents
- Unravelling the Temporary Foreign Worker (TFW) Program Workforce Solutions Road Map
- Minister Randy Boissonnault’s Revised Announcement: A Deep Dive
- New Wage Requirements from January 1, 2024: A Step Towards Fair Wages
- Understanding Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA)
- Embracing Digital: Transition to LMIA Online Portal
- Government’s Shield for Temporary Foreign Workers
- Conclusion: Gauging the Impact on Canada’s Labour Market
Unravelling the Temporary Foreign Worker (TFW) Program Workforce Solutions Road Map
To combat labour shortages, the Government of Canada rolled out the Temporary Foreign Worker (TFW) Program Workforce Solutions Road Map in April 2022. This initiative aims to help employers fill job vacancies, supporting the Canadian workforce while catering to the country’s economic needs.
Minister Randy Boissonnault’s Revised Announcement: A Deep Dive
On October 26, 2023, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development, and Official Languages Randy Boissonnault unveiled revisions to the Road Map. These revised measures, effective until August 30, 2024, align with the current labour market conditions and economic outlook.
New Wage Requirements from January 1, 2024: A Step Towards Fair Wages
A highlight of the revised measures is the new wage requirements effective January 1, 2024. Employers will now need to review the wages of temporary foreign workers annually. This move targets wage suppression and promotes fair wage growth, ensuring workers get the prevailing market rate throughout their employment.
Understanding Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA)
Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) is a vital part of hiring foreign workers in Canada. It’s a document employers need before hiring a foreign worker, proving the need for a foreign worker to fill the job and that no Canadian worker can do it. The announcement also reduced the LMIA validity period from an 18-month maximum to a 12-month maximum to better respond to labour market dynamics.
Embracing Digital: Transition to LMIA Online Portal
As of April 2023, the LMIA Online Portal became the primary method for LMIA submissions. This digital transition aims to speed up processing, helping employers address labour market needs more efficiently.
Government’s Shield for Temporary Foreign Workers
Budget 2021 allocated $49.5 million over three years towards a new Migrant Worker Support Program. This program aims to better support temporary foreign workers by addressing power imbalances between employers and workers, taking a significant step towards protecting them from mistreatment and abuse.
Conclusion: Gauging the Impact on Canada’s Labour Market
The new wage norms and other measures under the revised TFW Program Workforce Solutions Road Map aim to foster wage growth, fill labour vacancies, and contribute towards a balanced labour market. As Canada continues to recover from economic adversities, these measures are seen as pivotal in promoting a robust and equitable labour market, ensuring the rights and wages of temporary foreign workers are upheld.
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Al ParsaiAl Parsai, LLM, MA, RCIC-IRB
Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant
Adjunct Professor – Queen’s University – Faculty of Law
Ashton College Instructor – Immigration Consulting
Author – 88 Tips on Immigration to Canada
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