Canada offers more protection to temporary overseas workers

by Ray Clancy on March 30, 2011

Canada offers more protection to temp workers

Temporary foreign workers in Canada will be better protected after new safeguards take effect this Friday (01 April) Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Minister Jason Kenney has announced.

Improvements to the Temporary Foreign Worker Programme (TFWP) will ensure that the programme continues to be fair to employers and maintain its focus on alleviating temporary labour shortages.

‘We saw a need for clear regulations to better protect workers from poor treatment and to ensure that the Temporary Foreign Worker Programme continued to address short term labour and skills shortages,’ said Kenney.

‘These regulations respond to that need and with the information being made available today, employers and workers will clearly know what is expected of them,’ he added.

The regulatory improvements to the TFWP include the most significant changes to the programme in many years and include a more rigorous assessment of the genuineness of the job offer.

There will be a two year period of ineligibility for hiring temporary foreign workers for employers who fail to meet their commitments with respect to wages, working conditions and occupation and a four year limit on the length of time some temporary foreign workers may work in Canada before returning home.

‘We know that the vast majority of employers treat foreign workers with respect and we recognize the importance of temporary foreign workers to employers in certain industries,’ said Rick Dykstra, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration and Member of Parliament for St. Catharine’s.

‘That’s why we have also identified some workers who will be exempt from the four year limit, such as workers who come to Canada through the Seasonal Agricultural Worker Programme and play such a critical role in the harvest across the country,’ he explained.

The Temporary Foreign Worker Programme is driven by employer demand and aimed at filling identified labour shortages where no suitable Canadian workers or permanent residents are available. It is jointly managed by Citizenship and Immigration Canada and Human Resources and Skills Development Canada.

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