Canada Gives More Rights To Foreign Workers, Changes Rules: How Will It Help Indians?

Canada has introduced some changes to strengthen protections for temporary foreign workers.

Canada Gives More Rights To Foreign Workers, Changes Rules: How Will It Help Indians?

Agencies involved

The objective is to provide greater transparency and clarity on the requirements and conditions of the Temporary Foreign Worker (TFW) Program and International Mobility Program (IMP).

Immigration Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) and Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) have together announced 13 amendments to the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations to strengthen protections for foreign workers and enhance the TFWP.

Canadian Immigration Minister Sean Fraser said that In Canada, the rights of all workers—including temporary foreign workers—are protected by law.

Function of the IMP

The International Mobility Program (IMP) sets requirements and conditions for hiring TFWs.

It further issues open work permits to vulnerable employees who are experiencing unjust work environments so they can quickly find new employers.

With these new regulations in place, the Government is strengthening its ability to protect TFWs in Canada from potential mistreatment or abuse during their period of employment.

Same rights as any other

TFWs have the same rights as Canadian citizens or permanent residents.

This means employers are legally obligated to provide a safe working environment free of harassment and reprisals.

Duties of employers

Canadian employers are now required to give access to health care services and provide private health insurance when needed.

They will have to inform the workers about their rights in the country.

Reprisal by employers against workers, for instance against those who come forward with complaints is prohibited.

Employers may not charge recruitment fees to workers and will be held accountable for the actions of recruiters.

Consequences of violations

Other provisions include the program’s ability to inspect workplaces, enforce the rules and administer appropriate consequences for those who choose not to follow the rules.

One such consequence is the suspension of the processing of any new Labour Market Impact Assessments (LMIAs) if an employer’s non-compliance with the new conditions would put a TFW’s health or safety at serious risk.

Employers must be able to demonstrate a genuine need for hiring from abroad by obtaining a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA). 

Without one they can only hire Canadian citizens or permanent residents.

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