On October 26, 2023, Randy Boissonnault, the Minister of Employment, Workforce Development, and Official Languages, announced changes to the Temporary Foreign Workforce Solutions Road Map.
These extended measures will be in place until August 30, 2024, and will be reviewed as labour market and economic conditions continue to evolve in the following months.
Canada’s Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP) plays a crucial role in helping Canadian employers address labor shortages in specific sectors. These adjustments aim to assist employers in tackling crucial labor shortages through the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP).
The Temporary Foreign Workforce Solutions Road Map remains a vital tool, allowing employers to adapt to Canada’s shifting labor and economic landscapes by making necessary adjustments to the TFWP.
The recent announcement introduced and upheld the following changes in the Temporary Foreign Worker Program Road Map:
Who Can Benefit from the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP)?
The Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP) has been extended to benefit employers in certain sectors facing persistent labor shortages.
These sectors include:
- Food Manufacturing (NAICS 311)
- Wood Product Manufacturing (NAICS 321)
- Furniture and Related Product Manufacturing (NAICS 337)
- Accommodation and Food Services (NAICS 72)
- Construction (NAICS 23)
- Hospitals (NAICS 622)
- Nursing and Residential Care Facilities (NAICS 623)
30% Workforce Rule:
In these sectors, employers are allowed to hire up to 30% of their workforce for low-wage positions through the TFWP. This means businesses can fill critical job vacancies by recruiting foreign workers.
Duration Cap and Wage Reviews:
Maximum Employment Duration:
For positions that pay less than the provincial or territorial minimum wage, there is a maximum employment duration of two years. This measure ensures that foreign workers are not exploited in low-wage jobs.
Yearly Wage Reviews:
Starting from January 1st, 2024, employers are required to conduct annual reviews of the wages they pay to their temporary foreign workers. The aim is to make sure these wages are comparable to the prevailing wage rates for the specific job and the region in which they work.
Labor Market Impact Assessments (LMIAs):
LMIAs are a critical part of the TFWP process. These assessments are used to determine whether a Canadian permanent resident or citizen could have been hired for the same job. In other words, they assess if there’s a genuine need for hiring a foreign worker.
When an LMIA returns with a positive or neutral decision, it means that hiring a foreign worker for the role is supported. However, if the LMIA result is negative, it implies that a Canadian could have been hired for the position, and the work permit application for the foreign worker will be refused.
Why Compliance Matters:
Employers must adhere to the TFWP standards, ensuring that foreign workers are treated fairly and work in safe conditions. This includes providing fair wages, proper working conditions, and respecting workers’ rights.
The government of Canada takes compliance seriously. They maintain online records of employers who have been found non-compliant with TFWP standards. So, it’s vital for businesses to follow the rules to maintain a positive reputation and avoid legal issues.
Recognized Employer Pilot (REP):
To further support trusted employers, Canada has introduced the Recognized Employer Pilot (REP). This initiative streamlines the LMIA procedures for employers who have a strong track record of compliance with the TFWP.
Benefits of REP:
REP is designed to encourage reliable employers to continue hiring foreign workers efficiently. It not only eases the application process but also recognizes the important role these employers play in filling persistent job vacancies.
Canada’s Temporary Foreign Worker Program remains a valuable solution for employers facing labor shortages, providing access to a skilled workforce. By understanding these recent changes, businesses can navigate the program effectively, securing the talent they need to thrive in their respective industries.
Stay compliant, stay informed, and contribute to a more robust Canadian workforce.