The Homecare Assistance Program

The employers should include obligatory clauses in their employment contracts that address the benefits paid by the employer, housing, duties, work hours, salary, vacations, right to sick leave and conditions for termination. If the caregivers will be benefited for additional services, paid by their employers. This includes transportation costs from their country of residence to Canada, private medical insurance before they have provincial health coverage, safety insurance in their work place and recruiting tariffs associated with their contract.

Two-year penalty for employers

To be able to contract a Temporary Foreign Worker, an employer should assure a Canadian Service Officer that the work offer is “genuine” before obtaining a positive Labor Market Opinion (LMIA). For it to be a “genuine” offer, it should fulfill various requirements, including standard salaries, the occupational description and the documented efforts of the employer to contract local Canadians.

In addition to existing requirements, there is applied a more strict and broad standard to assure themselves that the examiner officials have the necessary tools to determine the “authenticity” of a work offer. When the official determines that an offer is not “genuine”, the employer can be prohibited from recruiting any Temporary Foreign Worker for a period of two years.

When it is discovered that an employer has violated his commitment with the Temporary Foreign Worker, all his work permits will be rejected during a period of two years. In fact, the name of the employer will also be published on a list on a public government web page and foreign workers will not be able to accept work from the mentioned employers.

The violations of the provincial and federal labor laws can result in penalties for the employer. Under these new regulations, the employers will have the responsibility of closely monitoring all the activities with respect to the Temporary Foreign Workers, contracted directly or indirectly through a recruiter.

The changes in the work terms and conditions through promotions, salary increases or job descriptions should be reviewed carefully with the Department of Canadian Services before its implementation. The use of legal consulting will become essential for the human resources managers.

Criteria for a “genuine” work offers

The government has established additional criteria to determine if a work offer is “genuine”. These criteria include the following:

  • If the job is offered by an employer that is directly involved in the field in which the offer is being made.
  • If the offer is consistent with the labor needs of the employer.
  • If the employer can reasonably fulfill the terms of the work offer.
  • If the employer or recruiter that acts in the name of the employer has previously fulfilled with the provincial or federal laws that regulate the job or the recruitment of the workers.

Their opinion is that all the subsequent offers from the employers that incur a penalty of Temporary Foreign Worker of two years “are not authentic” during the penalty period, regardless of whether or not they fulfill the previous criteria. Previous violations of the provincial or federal laws that regulate the job (regardless if these violations are connected to a Temporary Foreign Worker or local worker) can also result in that an officer determine that an offer is not authentic.

The new rules look to be broad enough and as consequence the employers and human resources managers, should closely review their foreign worker portfolios.

The Temporary Foreign Workers can work for a maximum of four years

The new rules will limit the number of years that a Temporary Foreign Worker is authorized to work in Canada. The majority of foreign workers will be permitted to extend their work permit during a maximum cumulative period of four years. Once this limit is reached, the workers should wait for a period of four years before applying again. Nevertheless, certain categories of foreign workers are exempt from this limitation. These include workers employed in specific fields with important social, cultural or economic benefits for Canada and the Temporary Foreign Workers that work under specific international agreements such as TLCAN or AGCS.

As a result of this new limit, the employers will be encouraged to initiate the process of applying for permanent residence in the name of their foreign workers before reaching the limit of four years.

Options so that family members work in Canada

If you are authorized to work in Canada, your accompanying family members can work in Canada in virtue of the permit you have received. If they want to work while they are found in Canada, your family members should apply for an “open” work permit.