Temporary Foreign Workers

Recent events across Canada have led to questions from stakeholders about employers’ responsibilities toward temporary foreign workers affected by work stoppage situations, including those caused by labour disputes or unforeseen events (e.g., flooding, forest fires, etc.).  

Employers are expected to meet their obligations by respecting the conditions set out in the offer of employment, and the Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) decision letter and its corresponding annexes. This includes: 

  • Providing temporary foreign workers with full-time employment in the same job as stated in the employment offer, and 
  • Paying workers wages as set out in the employment offer and LMIA. This means that employers must ensure temporary foreign workers affected by any work stoppages receive compensation that, at minimum, is equivalent to full-time work for the entire employment duration, excluding any week for which the worker was eligible for other income support, such as Employment Insurance. In the event of a work stoppage situation, full-time work is a minimum of an average of 30 hours per week over the entire employment duration. The employment duration starts when the work was expected to have started, or no later than seven calendar days after a worker arrived in Canada, whichever is first, and ends when a worker returns home, voluntarily quits or legally commences employment with another employer in Canada.  

Any work performed by temporary foreign workers at the employer’s place of business that does not align with the LMIA should be voluntarily disclosed to Service Canada. 

Employment Agreement sample templates for all streams under the Temporary Foreign Worker (TFW) Program are now available online.

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