Starting December 15, 2020, employers in British Columbia will be required to register with the Province before hiring a temporary foreign worker through any of the following three (3) immigration programs:
- Temporary Foreign Worker Program;
- Home Child-Care Provider Pilot; and
- Home Support Worker Pilot.
This system is already in place in some other provinces, Manitoba being the first province to implement such a system. The Province advises that registration is free and will take approximately 20 minutes to complete. On approval, the employer will receive a Certificate of Registration which is valid for up to three (3) years. The Certificate of Registration must be issued prior to the employer obtaining a Labour Market Impact Assessment (“LMIA”). The Province requires records to be kept for at least four (4) years and must be available if requested. Under the Temporary Foreign Worker Program’s compliance guidelines, records must be kept for six (6) years.
The purpose of registration is to protect foreign nationals, especially vulnerable workers in low-wage roles. By registering, the Province will be able to quickly identify employers using one of the programs and inspect them to ensure compliance. This is the final step in implementing the Temporary Foreign Worker Protection Act, in British Columbia.
The purpose of this new registration requirement is to strengthen foreign workers’ rights and make it easier to locate employers who abuse their foreign workers. Interestingly, employers who hire foreign nationals under the International Mobility Program, are not required to register.
If you have any questions about this topic or any other questions relating to workplace law, please do not hesitate to contact a Mathews Dinsdale lawyer.