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Prevailing Wage Increase – How could you be affected?

On November 16, 2015, the prevailing wage was adjusted for selected National Occupation Classification (NOC) codes. These changes take effect immediately. Certain work permit applications in both the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TWFP) and the International Mobility Program (IMP) are affected. Employers will have to identify foreign nationals that are impacted and take necessary action.

The November 16, 2015 update impacts the Intra-Company Transfer category, Labour Market Impact Assessments (LMIAs), and the Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (“OINP”) (formerly the Provincial Nominee Program).

Prevailing Wage: Intra-Company Transfer

Intra-Company Transfer –Important! Specialized Knowledge Worker applications in conjunction with a free trade agreement (i.e. NAFTA) are excluded. However, CIC has had a minimum mandatory wage since an Operational Bulletin of June of 2014.

For Intra-Company Transfer–Executive/Senior Managers category, the prevailing wage rate is relevant to an Officer’s assessment. Employers with global assignees or international relocations intended as permanent transfers into Canada, must be aware of the applicable prevailing wage rate with respect to the salary offered to a foreign national.

Applications filed on or after November 16, 2015 must meet the updated prevailing wage level.

If an employer has submitted an application for an occupation that has had a prevailing wage increase, the employer may be required to comply with the new wage.

Labour Market Impact Assessment & Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program
The LMIA and the OINP require that foreign nationals to be paid at least the prevailing wage, when considering both the occupation and the location.

Like with the TFWP requirements, the minimum wage rate in the wage range listed in advertisements must meet the posted prevailing wage at the time of filing the LMIA application.

This means that advertisements currently posted must match the new prevailing wage or will require reposting.

For LMIA applications submitted but not yet approved, employers will be need to demonstrate they have updated their offer of employment with a new wage.

Prevailing Wage Rate Changes can be found by clicking HERE

All Points’ recommendations to Employers:

1. Employers should review salaries of their employees holding an LMO/LMIA-based work permit to help ensure that they are at or above the updated prevailing wage. Employers have attested to at least annually reviewing these employees’ salaries as part of the LMO/LMIA application.
2. Employers should work closely with their immigration partners to identify applications impacted by the change in prevailing wage.
3. Review current advertisements for LMIA applications to see if reposting is necessary.
4. Service Canada must be notified of any changes to the wage paid to employees currently holding an LMO/LMIA-based work permit.
5. Employers may need to re-issue offer letters to ICT foreign nationals whose applications are not yet filed. Additionally, visa offices may request an updated offer letter with a higher wage for applications currently under review.

Final thought:

Over time, different divisions and departments can get familiar with using prevailing wage tables. We recommend that you communicate these changes as widely as required and ask that any hard copies of old tables be thrown out. Review your company policies and locations to see how these changes might affect you.
For further information see the Government of Canada website detailing concerns, changes and penalties regarding prevailing wage changes.

Posted on December 9, 2015 in Relolert

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