Monetary fines to be applied to those who break rules of Temporary Foreign Worker Program
OTTAWA, March 28, 2014 /CNW/ - The Honourable Jason Kenney, Minister of Employment and Social Development, announced further changes today stemming from the ongoing review of the Temporary Foreign Worker Program to ensure Canadians are first in line for available jobs.
The Government of Canada is introducing legislative amendments to give the Government the authority to levy monetary fines on employers who break the rules of the Temporary Foreign Worker Program.
These fines will help ensure that the Temporary Foreign Worker Program is used as intended—as a temporary source of labour as a last resort when Canadians are not available. Those who do not use the program as intended will face significant consequences.
As announced in Canada's Economic Action Plan 2013, the Government has introduced several regulatory and administrative changes that:
- provide the Government with the authority to conduct inspections to make sure employers are meeting the conditions of the program;
- allow the Government to ban non-compliant employers from the program and immediately add their names to a public list;
- provide the Government with the authority to revoke or suspend Labour Market Opinions (LMOs), or refuse to process LMO applications, and to revoke work permits and refuse to process work permit applications, when necessary;
- require employers to pay temporary foreign workers at the prevailing wage by removing the existing wage flexibility; and
- introduce fees for employers for the processing of LMOs and increase the fees for work permits so that the taxpayers are no longer subsidizing the costs.
"Our government is taking action to ensure Canadians are first in line for available jobs. The changes announced today give the Government the ability to levy monetary fines against employers who break the rules of the Temporary Foreign Worker Program and are yet another strong action to ensure that Canadians come first. With this change, we are sending a clear message that employers who break the rules will face consequences."
- The Honourable Jason Kenney, Minister of Employment and Social Development
To further strengthen the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP), the Government is introducing legislative amendments providing authority to set out an administrative monetary penalty system in regulations.
The administrative monetary penalties are being introduced through Budget Implementation Act 1.
In July 2013, the Government announced changes to the TFWP that:
- require employers to pay temporary foreign workers at the prevailing wage by removing the existing wage flexibility;
- suspend the Accelerated Labour Market Opinion (LMO) process temporarily;
- increase the Government's authority to suspend and revoke work permits and LMOs if the program is being misused, when employers don't use the program as intended;
- add questions to employer LMO applications to ensure that the TFWP is not used to facilitate the outsourcing of Canadian jobs;
- ensure employers who rely on temporary foreign workers have a firm plan in place to transition to a Canadian workforce over time;
- introduce fees for employers for the processing of LMOs and increase the fees for work permits so that the taxpayers are no longer subsidizing the costs; and
- identify English and French as the only languages that can be identified as a job requirement.
Effective December 2013, amendments to the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations have been put in place to strengthen the integrity of the TFWP by providing Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) and Citizenship and Immigration Canada with additional authorities to ensure employers are complying with program requirements.
Also, since December 2013, Ministerial Instructions allow ESDC to revoke or suspend LMOs or to refuse to process LMO applications.
SOURCE: Employment and Social Development Canada
Office of the Minister