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Harper Government Announces Reforms to Temporary Foreign Worker Program

May 1, 2013:

Earlier this week, the Canadian government announced new restrictions for the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP). Several of these changes are effective immediately, while more details are expected in the coming days.

Of these changes, the Accelerated Labour Market Opinion (A-LMO) program has been suspended. It is not clear, however, if the suspension applies to pending A-LMO applications. Additionally, all Labour Market Opinion (LMO) applications are expected to be subject to greater scrutiny with this development.

Also effective immediately, employers are now required to pay temporary foreign workers at the prevailing wage for the respective occupation. The wage flexibility offered by the TFWP, which allowed employers to pay wages below the median for both high skill and low skill occupations (so long as it was the same wage paid to their Canadian employees) has been eliminated.

Employers will now need to more clearly demonstrate through the LMO Process that vacancies cannot be filled in the Canadian market. The government has announced plans to add more questions to the employer LMO applications to prevent misuse of the program for outsourcing. It has also been identified that English and French will be the only languages that can be used as a job requirement moving forward as well.

Greater authority has been given to the government’s ability to suspend and revoke work permits and LMOs if there is suspicion of misuse. Greater fees will also be introduced for the processing of LMO and work permit applications to reduce the burden on taxpayers and further discourage misuse. These changes can prove to be very costly to employers and may be compounded in the event of rejection. All Points recommends contacting a Temporary Foreign Worker Unit (TFWU) if there is uncertainty prior to submission to avoid increased.

Through the LMO process, the Canadian government will work with employers who currently depend on the temporary foreign workers to develop and implement a transition plan towards enabling a Canadian workforce over time.

All Points will be monitoring this situation closely, and will release further details as they are made available.

This Relo-lert is intended for informational use only. If you have any questions regarding the impact of this information on your organization, please contact All Points Relocation at [email protected].

Posted on May 1, 2013 in Relolert

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