Stewart McKelvey

Vol 4 Issue 1 Spring 2014

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2 Spring 2014 Doing Business in AtlAntic cAnADA By Andrea Baldwin, Michelle McCann and Sean Kelly T hese days, Canada's Temporary For- eign Worker Program ("TFWP") is more top of mind than ever for Canadian employers. This is in part because of the many changes made by the Government of Canada to transform the TFWP over the last couple of years and changes that continue to be made. Reforming Canada's TFWP continues to be a top priority for our government given that it featured prominently in the speech from the throne delivered by Governor General David Johnston on October 16, 2013. The throne speech said one of the measures the govern- ment will take to address the job or skills gap de- scribed as "too many people without jobs and too many jobs without people" is "to complete reforms to the TFWP to ensure that all Canadians always have the fi rst chance at available jobs". This means that it is now harder than it once was to obtain ap- proval to hire a temporary foreign worker ("TFW"). It also means that the government has more means for monitoring an employer's compliance with the TFWP. Employers' obligations under the TFWP con- tinue after a TFW relocates to Canada. Canadian employers need to be mindful of a number of rules including the following. 1 local laws apply to all workers All local employment laws that apply to Canadian em- ployees also apply to TFWs. This includes employ- ment standards, industrial relations, human rights, workers' compensation and occupational health and safety laws. There may be added protections in local legislation that apply to TFWs with which employ- ers should be familiar. 2 recruitment costs Employers bear the costs associated with recruiting TFWs, including the new processing fee for obtaining a Labour Market Opin- ion ("LMO"). None of these costs may be recovered from the TFW through salary deduction or otherwise. 3 be careful what you ask for The same precautions taken when designing interview ques- tions for Canadian citizens should be taken when interviewing a TFW. It is legitimate to ask whether a 10 things employers need to know about employing temporary foreign workers

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