August 15, 2013:
Now that people have had time to absorb the recent changes to Labour Market Opinion (LMO) application procedures, All Points Relocation recommends that employers review recruiting exercises, immigration procedural practices, and consider greater centralization.
Due to recent changes, employers filing LMO applications will now have to pay a fee and can expect to encounter stricter regulations effective July 31, 2013.
These changes increase the required lead time for employers to obtain an LMO-based work permits for foreign nationals under the Temporary Foreign Worker Relocation Program, and of course, also increase the cost.
Employment and Social Development Canada (formerly Human Resources and Skills Development Canada -HRSDC) announced details of the changes which are effective immediately. The below rules now apply to all new LMO applications under the program. This is not an exhaustive list.
- A new fee of $275 for each position requested in an LMO application. The fee is intended to cover the cost of an LMO.
- Stricter job advertising requirements including:
- Employers must advertise available positions in Canada for at least four weeks before applying for an LMO. This requirement applies to all advertising methods. In addition to advertising on the national Job Bank website or the equivalent provincial/territorial websites, employers must prove that they have used at least two other recruitment methods that are consistent with the advertising practices for the occupation.
- The advertisement must remain posted until the LMO has been issued;
- If hiring for a higher-skilled occupation—one of the methods must be national in scope;
- If hiring for a lower-skilled occupation—employers must demonstrate that they made efforts to target under-represented groups in the labour force.
In addition, new detailed questions have been incorporated into the LMO Application form, designed to protect against the outsourcing of Canadian jobs. The main changes revolve around circumstances in which services are provided under a contract and the services are performed by foreign workers.
Recommendation #1: Employers should be highly aware of all aspects of any third-party projects, and how the hiring of the foreign worker might impact the workforce of the client purchasing the good/service from the employer.
Recommendation #2: the greater advertising requirements will mean that companies should create greater oversight of the recruitment process. Since the advertising must continue until LMO issuance, costs and administrative oversight will increase. Lead times will also increase. Companies should ensure that there is no lag time between the initial advertising period and LMO application, because of the fact that advertising must continue until LMO issuance, and any domestic market applicants must be considered during this period. Rejected applications will not see refunds of the $275 fee.
Recommendation #3: Greater centralization. If there is not already an immigration compliance responsibility assigned in the company, this should be done along with the creation of processes to ensure proper procedures are put in place and followed. The greatest care should be taken over the applications and advertising processes, and a true understanding of the impact of the hiring of the foreign worker on the local workforce.
Recommendation #4: Work with trusted third party recruiters to make sure that they are familiar and will work within the new detailed guidelines.
Important note: the above Relo-lert does not address all aspects of the recent changes, nor does it include all possible process change recommendations. All Points continues to look into the matter and will soon update on implications for application renewals and other matters.