In A Flash

ESDC Announces Key Changes to Temporary Foreign Worker Program

Employment and Social Development Canada (“ESDC”) has introduced the Temporary Foreign Worker Program Workforce Solutions Road Map (the “Road Map”), which aims to address ongoing labour shortages in Canada.

The Road Map introduces several key changes to the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (the “TFWP”), which are outlined below. 

As of April 4, 2022, the following changes are in effect:

  • Seasonal Cap Exemption: The Seasonal Cap Exemption, which has been in effect since 2015, has been made permanent. Under this exemption, there is no cap on the number of low-wage positions an employer in the seasonal industry may fill using the TFWP. The maximum employment duration of these positions has also been increased from 180 days to 270 days per year.
  • Labour Market Impact Assessment Validity: The validity of Labour Market Impact Assessments (“LMIA”) has been temporarily increased from nine (9) months to eighteen (18) months. Employers are required to obtain an LMIA in order to hire a temporary foreign worker through the TFWP.  
  • High-Wage Stream and Global Talent Stream Employment Duration: The maximum duration of employment under the High-Wage Stream and Global Talent Stream has been increased from two (2) years to three (3) years.  

As of April 30, 2022, the following changes will come into effect:

  • Low-Wage Cap: Employers in the following sectors will be permitted to hire up to 30% of their workforce at the worksite through the TFWP for low-wage positions: Food Manufacturing; Wood Product Manufacturing; Furniture and Related Product Manufacturing; Accommodation and Food Services; Construction; Hospitals; and Nursing and Residential Care Facilities. This change will be in effect for one year.
  • All other employers will be permitted to hire up to 20% of their workforce at the worksite through the TFWP for low-wage positions until further notice. This is an increase from the previous 10% cap, which has been in place since June 2014.
  • Refusal to Process Policy: The TFWP will no longer refuse to process LMIA applications for certain low-wage occupations in the Accommodation and Food Services sector and Retail Trade sector in regions where the unemployment rate is 6% or higher.

Further information on these key updates can be found on the Federal Government’s website here.

If you have any questions about this topic, or any questions relating to workplace law generally, please do not hesitate to contact a Mathews Dinsdale lawyer.  

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