Inspections conducted by Employment and Social Development Canada, the federal department overseeing social programs and the labor market, found 116 employers out of compliance with Canada’s Temporary Foreign Worker Program in the last fiscal year.
ESDC completed more than 2,100 inspections in the fiscal year ended March 31. Of the employers inspected, 94% were ultimately found compliant and 6% were found noncompliant. Of the 116 employers that were found noncompliant with the TFWP, 93 faced administrative monetary penalties totaling $1.5 million for violating the conditions of the program. In addition, 23 employers were issued a warning and seven are banned from using the program, some for up to five years.
The TFWP allows employers in Canada to hire a foreign worker when no Canadians or permanent resident is available. In 2022, there were 204,700 temporary residents with work permits through the program, representing roughly 1% of the labor force, according to ESDC.
Employers that are found to be noncompliant with TFWP conditions are listed on a public-facing website managed by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada. Examples include:
- An employer in the transport sector was penalized $258,000 and given a five-year ban from the program for failing to provide adequate wages, adequate accommodations and safe working conditions, among other violations.
- An employer in the construction industry faced a $53,000 monetary penalty and a five-year ban from the program for failing to provide adequate wages and working conditions.
- An employer in the transport sector faced a $152,250 monetary penalty along with a five-year ban from the program for failing to provide adequate wages and working conditions; failing to comply with federal, provincial and territorial laws that regulate employment; and failing to retain documents as required for the assessment of compliance with the program conditions.
“The Government of Canada takes its responsibilities to protect temporary foreign workers very seriously and continues to take steps to improve employer compliance with the TFWP,” ESDC said in a press release. “In September 2022, new regulations were implemented that improve the program’s ability to conduct inspections and increase overall compliance by helping employers adhere to the rules and holding them accountable. These efforts complement other recent initiatives, including the launch of the new Migrant Worker Support Program and the TFWP Workforce Solutions Road Map.”
Moving forward, the government intends to provide updates on TFWP compliance efforts on a semi-annual basis.