New Amendments for Temporary Foreign Workers are Now in Force
The Government of Canada announced 13 new regulatory amendments to strengthen protections for Temporary Foreign Workers (TFWs). Additionally, these new amendments will enhance the integrity of the TFW Program and the International Mobility Program (IMP), administered by IRCC.
The Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion, Carla Qualtrough and the Minister of Immigration, Sean Fraser made the announcement this week. According to the announcement, the new regulations will better protect TFWs in Canada by:
- mandating that employers provide all TFWs with information about their rights in Canada;
- prohibiting reprisal by employers against workers who come forward with complaints; and,
- prohibiting employers from charging recruitment fees to workers and holding them accountable for the actions of recruiters in this regard.
In addition, employers are now required to provide reasonable access to health care services. Also, employers using the TFW Program need to provide private health insurance when needed.
<<The rights of temporary foreign workers in Canada>>
These regulatory amendments were first published in the Canada Gazette, Part I, for a period of 30 days, ending on August 9, 2021. Moreover, the final regulations were published in the Canada Gazette, Part II, on July 6, 2022.
“Overall, these new regulations will ensure greater transparency and clarity on the requirements and conditions of the TFW Program and IMP. Employers will be more aware of their responsibilities and program rules, which will lead to better protection of workers and increased program compliance.”Employment and Social Development Canada
Please notice that employers who are found to be non-compliant with conditions for the TFW Program or the IMP are listed on a public-facing website.
Other worker protection initiatives
The Government of Canada has been carrying out several initiatives to protect workers while they are in Canada. For example, in July 2022, Minister Qualtrough convened the inaugural TFW Program Ministerial Consultative Roundtable. This meeting focused on accommodations and was the first of several meetings to seek input directly from stakeholders on how to make the TFW Program more effective for everyone.
In addition, ESDC also continues to improve the TFW compliance regime while implementing improvements, including:
- enhancing inspection tools and mandatory training to strengthen the quality and timeliness of inspections;
- continuing to leverage an enhanced tip line service including live agents;
- continuing to raise employers’ awareness of their obligations to foster compliance with the TFW Program’s conditions; and,
- expanding collaboration with consulates, as well as provinces and local authorities.
“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.”The Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, Sean Fraser
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