Thirteen new regulations meant to prevent mistreatment of temporary foreign workers in Canada went into effect last month. The amendments to Canada’s Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations will strengthen protections for TFWs and will enhance the integrity of the TFW Program and the International Mobility Program, according to Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion Carla Qualtrough and Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Sean Fraser.

The new regulations:

  • Mandate that employers provide all TFWs with information about their rights in Canada;
  • Prohibit reprisal by employers against workers (for instance, against those who come forward with complaints); and
  • Prohibit employers from charging recruitment fees to workers and holding them accountable for the actions of recruiters in this regard.

In addition, employers are required to provide reasonable access to healthcare services. Employers using the TFW Program are also required to provide private health insurance when needed.

These regulations will deter bad actors from participating in the program and will improve the program’s ability to conduct inspections and administer appropriate consequences for those who do not follow the rules, Ministers Qualtrough and Fraser said in a press release. Employment and Social Development Canada can also suspend the processing of any new Labour Market Impact Assessments if there is reason to suspect that an employer’s noncompliance with the new conditions would put a foreign worker’s health or safety at serious risk.

Unlike other nations’ immigration programs, there is no cap on the number of TFWs that can enter Canada. However, companies cannot secure a TFW without a Labour Market Impact Assessment, according to CIC News.