Effective May 31st, there will be an increase in the median hourly wages for all provinces and territories across Canada, except for Nunavut. This change holds significant importance for employers in Canada who intend to hire foreign nationals and must adhere to the requirements outlined in the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP).
When recruiting foreign nationals, employers rely on the provincial and territorial median hourly wage as a benchmark to determine the criteria they must fulfil within the TFWP. The specific location of the job and the wage offered to the employee play a pivotal role in determining whether employers need to apply for a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) under the high-wage or low-wage stream, each with its own set of prerequisites.
To elaborate, if the employee’s salary falls below the provincial or territorial median wage, they are classified as low wages. Conversely, if their remuneration matches or exceeds the median wage, they are categorized as high wages.
This updated information ensures that employers stay informed about the changes in the median hourly wage requirement, enabling them to make accurate assessments and fulfil the necessary obligations when participating in the Temporary Foreign Worker Program. By following the guidelines set forth by the program, employers can effectively navigate the process and make informed decisions in hiring foreign nationals.
Employers must remain up-to-date with these regulations, as they directly impact their ability to engage foreign workers and contribute to a fair and equitable labour market. Keeping abreast of the median hourly wage adjustments allows employers to maintain compliance with the Temporary Foreign Worker Program and ensures a smooth and efficient hiring process.
Therefore, employers are encouraged to review the updated median hourly wages specific to their province or territory (excluding Nunavut) to ensure compliance with the requirements of the Temporary Foreign Worker Program. This will enable them to determine whether they need to apply for a Labour Market Impact Assessment under the low-wage or high-wage stream, based on the employee’s compensation.
By staying informed and adhering to these regulations, employers can confidently navigate the Temporary Foreign Worker Program and access the skilled workforce necessary to support their business operations while contributing to Canada’s thriving labour market.
The Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP) is a Canadian initiative that allows employers in the country to hire foreign nationals to address labour shortages. To participate in the TFWP, employers must undergo the Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA), which is a labour market test conducted by the Canadian government. The purpose of the LMIA is to ensure that hiring foreign workers will have either a positive or neutral impact on the Canadian labour market.
Under the TFWP, employers are required to obtain an approved LMIA and provide temporary work permits to foreign nationals before they can commence employment in Canada. The program distinguishes between high-wage and low-wage positions, each with its own set of requirements.
For high-wage positions, employers must submit transition plans along with the LMIA. These plans demonstrate the employer’s commitment to gradually reduce their reliance on foreign workers, prioritizing qualified Canadians for available job opportunities.
In the case of low-wage positions, no transition plan is necessary. However, the Canadian government has imposed a cap on the number of low-wage workers that businesses can employ, aiming to restrict access to the TFWP.
Employers offering wages below the provincial/territorial median have additional obligations.
They are required to cover the costs of…
- round-trip transportation for the temporary foreign worker
- ensure the availability of affordable housing
- provide private health insurance until workers become eligible for provincial health coverage
- register the worker with the provincial/territorial workplace safety board
- establish an employer-employee contract
Applications for the TFWP undergo review by Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC), where officials ensure that qualified Canadians are not being overlooked in favour of foreign workers. The objective is to strike a balance between addressing labour shortages and prioritizing employment opportunities for Canadian citizens.
The TFWP, along with its associated regulations, serves as a mechanism to effectively manage the employment of foreign workers, protect the Canadian labour market, and ensure that the program benefits both employers and the domestic workforce.
Navigating the TFWP can be complex, with various requirements, regulations, and updates to consider. At Brace Laws, we understand the importance of staying informed and ensuring compliance with the program’s guidelines. We can provide you with the necessary support to make informed decisions and streamline your hiring process while adhering to legal obligations.
Contact Brace Laws today to schedule a consultation and take proactive steps in effectively managing the Temporary Foreign Worker Program while meeting your business goals.
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