Canada’s Temporary Foreign Worker Program (the “TFWP“) allows employers to bring foreign workers to Canada to temporarily fill jobs for which qualified Canadians are not available. After the program became increasingly controversial in 2012-13, the Department of Employment and Social Development Canada (“ESDC“) on June 20, 2014 imposed a cap limiting the proportion of low-wage foreign workers that businesses can employ.

How the Cap Works

Employers with a company-wide business size of 10 or more employees are subject to the cap.  The cap percentage is determined for each individual worksite location and is based on paid positions and total hours worked at that worksite.

Employers that are new to the TFWP or returning employers who did not have any foreign workers on staff on June 20, 2014 are capped at 10% low-wage foreign workers for each work location.

The cap, implemented on June 20, 2014, was phased in to provide employers time to transition to a Canadian workforce which means that they are limited to a:

  • 20 percent cap on the number of foreign workers in low-wage positions, or the employer’s established estimated cap (whichever is lower), if the employer hired a TFW in a low-wage position prior to June 20, 2014; or
  • 10 percent cap on the number of foreign workers in low-wage positions if the employers did not employ a TFW in a low-wage position prior to June 20, 2014.

Effectively, companies are limited to a 10% cap on the proportion of low-wage foreign workers that they can have.  The low-wage is based on a province’s median wage, which as of writing is as follows:

Province/Territory
Wages prior to

May 3, 2018

2016 Wage ($/hour)
Wages as of

May 3,

 » Read more about: LMIA Cap on Low Wage Employees  »

Read more ›

On April 1, 2011, new regulatory changes came into effect that will significantly impact temporary foreign workers and the companies that want to hire them.  If you are an employer who currently employs or is interested in employing temporary foreign workers then you need to be aware of these changes.

The changes include:

  • Assessing the genuineness of a Temporary Foreign Worker;
  • Live-in-Caregiver Changes;
  • The Employer Blacklist;
  • Time limits for temporary foreign workers; and
  • Labour Market Opinion Changes.

Establishing a set of factors to guide the assessment of the genuineness of an employer’s offer of employment to a temporary foreign worker.

The changes introduce a new s. 200(5) of the Regulations, which reads:

Genuineness of job offer

(5) A determination of whether an offer of employment is genuine shall be based on the following factors:

(a) whether the offer is made by an employer, other than an employer of a live-in caregiver, that is actively engaged in the business in respect of which the offer is made;

(b) whether the offer is consistent with the reasonable employment needs of the employer;

(c) whether the terms of the offer are terms that the employer is reasonably able to fulfill; and

(d) the past compliance of the employer, or any person who recruited the foreign national for the employer, with the federal or provincial laws that regulate employment, or the recruiting of employees, in the province in which it is intended that the foreign national work.

Establishing certain employer-related requirements for live-in caregivers.

Section 203(1)(d) of the Regulations will now read:

203.

 » Read more about: Changes To Temporary Foreign Worker Program  »

Read more ›