Temporary foreign workers will benefit from workshops on their rights
GATINEAU, QC, Dec. 11, 2017 /CNW/ - The Government of Canada takes its responsibility to protect the integrity of the Temporary Foreign Worker (TFW) Program very seriously, including protecting the safety of workers. It is collaborating with stakeholders across the country to improve migrant workers' experience by making them more aware of their rights and helping them to receive support while working in Canada.
The Honourable Patty Hajdu, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour, today announced that the Government of Canada is providing more than $93,000 to the Migrant Workers' Dignity Association (MWDA) to help migrant workers become better informed about their rights as workers in Canada. The MWDA will use the grant to develop 17 different workshops, information tools, and materials aimed at informing temporary foreign workers on topics such as housing, health care, access to special benefits, and other rights.
The MWDA is a non-profit organization that helps protect and celebrate the rights and dignity of migrant workers in Canada. The goal of the MWDA is to assist in improving the living conditions of temporary foreign workers in Canada. The organization works closely with migrant workers whom they support to collaboratively design projects to ensure they address the needs of foreign workers while they are living in Canada.
Employment and Social Development Canada has been working with community organizations devoted to the protection of vulnerable foreign workers and fulfilling its commitment to find ways to increase awareness and better inform temporary foreign workers of their rights and protections while in Canada. The Department is also working closely with foreign governments and employer associations to determine the needs of foreign workers alongside the labour needs of employers.
"When people come to Canada to contribute their talents to support our economic growth, the Government of Canada has a serious responsibility to ensure their rights and freedoms are protected in the same way as any Canadian's. I am proud to collaborate with an organization like the Migrant Workers' Dignity Association that shares those same values, and has a proven record of making a difference"
– The Honourable Patty Hajdu, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour
- In April 2017, the Government of Canada set a path forward for the TFW Program, including fulfilling its commitment to better protect vulnerable foreign workers. This included a commitment to work with community organizations devoted to protecting vulnerable temporary foreign workers, to ensure workers are informed of their rights and protections when they arrive in Canada.
- In the summer of 2017, ESDC consulted with stakeholders and temporary foreign workers to gain insight into how to increase awareness and improve temporary foreign workers' access to information on their rights and protections as workers in Canada.
- The Government of Canada is also conducting a review of the Primary Agriculture Stream of the TFW Program, including a study on developing a national standard for employer-provided housing.
The Temporary Foreign Worker (TFW) Program is a Government of Canada program that allows employers in Canada to hire a foreign worker when no Canadians or permanent residents are available.
The TFW Program contributes to economic growth in Canada by ensuring that Canadians and permanent residents continue to have the first opportunity at available jobs, while balancing the labour needs of employers.
Employers can apply to hire temporary foreign workers through the High-Wage and Low-Wage streams, the Primary Agricultural Stream—including the Seasonal Agricultural Worker Program, or through supporting a skilled foreign worker's permanent resident visa application.
In order to hire a foreign worker, employers must receive a positive Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) from the Government of Canada. Employment and Social Development Canada conducts a rigorous assessment of factors, as set out in the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations, before issuing a positive or negative LMIA.
The TFW Program should only be used by employers to address their labour needs on a limited basis when qualified Canadians or permanent residents are not available.
Employers who wish to use the Program must comply with strict criteria to ensure that Canadians are given the first opportunity at available jobs. As part of the LMIA, Employment and Social Development Canada looks at available labour market information for the region and for the occupation, as well as the efforts made by an employer to recruit or train Canadians, including the number of Canadians that applied for their available job, the number of Canadians the employer interviewed, and an explanation of why those Canadians were not hired.
Several other factors are considered in the decision-making process for LMIAs:
- Will hiring a foreign worker result in the transfer of skills or knowledge to Canadians, or in creating or retaining employment for Canadians?
- Is a temporary foreign worker likely to fill a labour shortage?
- Are the wages and working conditions in accordance with the norms for the occupation?
- Is the employment of a foreign national likely to adversely affect the settlement of any labour dispute that may be in progress? and
- Does an employer-employee relationship exist in which the foreign worker agrees to work full time for an employer for a specific wage or salary?
SOURCE Employment and Social Development Canada
For further information: For media enquiries, please contact: Matt Pascuzzo, Press Secretary, Office of the Honourable Patty Hajdu, P.C., M.P., Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour, [email protected], 819-654-4183; Media Relations Office, Employment and Social Development Canada, 819-994-5559, [email protected]