“In Canada, the rights of all workers—including temporary foreign workers—are protected by law. […] 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.” Sean Fraser.They include 13 new regulations that aim to strengthen the protection of TFWs and enhance the integrity of the TFW program. These new regulations will ensure greater transparency and clarity around the requirements and conditions of the TFW program. Employers will be more aware of their responsibilities, leading to better protection of workers and increased program compliance. Click here to learn more about the TFW program and other changes that have been made that helps foreign nationals.
What are the new regulations for Temporary Foreign Workers?The new regulations protect and assist TFW in preventing maltreatment and abuse in Canada. This includes
- Mandates to employers to provide all TFWs with information about their rights in Canada
- Prohibit reprisal by employers against workers. For instance, against those who come forward with complaints
- Prohibit employers from charging recruitment fees to workers and holding them accountable for the actions of recruiters in this regard.
- Require employers to provide reasonable access to health care services and private health insurance when needed.
Why implement these rules for Temporary Foreign Workers?The new protection is to deter bad employers from participating in the program. It’s also to improve its ability to conduct inspections. As well as administer appropriate consequences for those who do not follow the rules.
“Everyone deserves to work in dignity, in safety, and in health. With these changes, our Government is strengthening protections for temporary foreign workers. These individuals come to Canada to work for Canadian businesses and help drive the Canadian economy forward. We have a responsibility to ensure they are protected and respected.” Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion, Carla Qualtrough.In addition, the Employment and Social Development Canda (ESDC) can also suspend the processing of any new LMIAs. They can do this if there is reason to suspect that an employer’s non-compliance with the new conditions would risk TFW’s health or safety.
How do these measures complement other protections for TFWs?A meeting was held by the TFW Program Ministerial Consultative Roundtable back in July 2022, that sought input directly from stakeholders on how to make the TFW program more robust and more effective for workers, employers and their communities. Another area that continues to improve TFW compliance is through the ESDC. The department implemented improvements to help better protect TFWs, which included
- Enhanced inspecting tools and mandatory training to strengthen the quality and timeliness of inspections
- Continue to leverage an enhanced tip line service. This would include live agents to allow workers to flag any situation of abuse or misuse in a confidential manner
- Continue to raise employers’ awareness of their obligations to foster compliance with the TFW Program’s conditions
- Expand collaboration with consulates (as well as provinces and local authorities) to help the Department to identify concerns that need immediate attention and take action