The new wage requirements for Canada work permits will come into effect on January 1, 2024, to address concerns about wage suppression.
The Minister of Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC), Randy Boissonnault, made revisions to the Temporary Foreign Worker (TFW) Program Workforce Solutions Road Map.
The ‘Road Map’ is revised to more accurately reflect the present condition of the labour market and the outlook for the economy in the long run.
Beginning January 1, 2024, employers will be required to annually review the wages of temporary foreign workers and reflect increases to prevailing wage rates for that particular occupation and location in Canada.
These evaluations will ensure that companies pay temporary foreign workers at the prevailing market rate for the duration of their employment by means of periodic wage revisions.
Additionally, the Canadian government announced the extension and implementation of additional measures until August 30, 2024, which will be reassessed in light of forthcoming developments in the labour market and economy.
This consists of:
- Continuing the provision that permits employers operating in seven specific sectors (accommodation and food services, construction, manufacturing of wood products and related products, food manufacturing, lodging and residential care facilities, and construction) to employ a maximum of 30% of their foreign workers in low-wage positions
- Maintaining the maximum tenure for employment at two years for job positions paying less than the median hourly wage in the province or territory; and
- Reducing the maximum validity period of the Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) from 18 months to 12 months in order to more accurately reflect the job market.
The Workforce Solutions Road Map of the TFW Program assists organizations in meeting the demands of the current labour market while safeguarding employment and wages in Canada.
To ensure that the program safeguards temporary foreign labourers in Canada and adapts to changes in the Canadian economy, ESDC will closely monitor the market.
As of October 8, 2023, the number of files created has increased by around 40% (year to date) in comparison to the corresponding period of the previous fiscal year (2023–24).
This indicates that the temporary foreign worker program (TFWP) has experienced a sustained surge in demand throughout the previous fiscal year.
The TFWP has also implemented the LMIA Online Portal as the principal means of submitting LMIAs in April 2023.
This transition to an online system has further enhanced processing and enables employers to rapidly meet labour market demands.
Recently, the government also unveiled the Recognized Employer Pilot (REP), an initiative designed to assist employers who prioritize worker protection in streamlining their operations.
REP will ensure the protection of transient foreign workers while decreasing the administrative burden for repeat employers with a history of program compliance and increasing their responsiveness to labour market shortages.
What is the temporary foreign worker program (TFWP)?
The Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP) is a program in Canada that allows employers to hire foreign workers on a temporary basis when qualified Canadians or permanent residents are not available.
How long is the processing time for Canada work permit?
As per the most recent IRCC processing update, 80% of the online work permit applications in Canada have been processed in an average of 134 days in the last 6 months.
Please note that the processing time for a Canada work permit can vary depending on various factors, such as the type of work permit, the location of the application, and the time of year.