IRCC/ESDC Employer Compliance Inspections

IRCC/ESDC Employer Compliance Inspections

18th Jun 2018 Comments Off on IRCC/ESDC Employer Compliance Inspections

Last updated on September 12th, 2021

All employers of temporary foreign workers in Canada need to understand how the employer compliance regime works.  Both Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (“IRCC”) as well as the Department of Employment and Social Development (“ESDC”) regularly audit and inspect the employers of foreign workers to make sure that they are complying with the Temporary Foreign Worker Program and/or the International Mobility Program (which are the two main programs through which foreign nationals can work in Canada).  Both ESDC and IRCC have indicated that about 25% of employers can expect an inspection in any given year.

Most of these inspections and audits start with the employer receiving a letter from the Government of Canada informing them that they will be examined on a multitude of factors, including whether they have employed the foreign national in the job that they were supposed to, whether they paid the wages that they were supposed to, whether the employer complied with laws regulating employment, whether they maintained records and whether they took reasonable efforts to provide a workplace that was free of abuse.

I have embedded below the standard employer compliance letter that is sent out at the start of an audit.

Consequences of Non-Compliance

There are several consequences to Canadian employers of non-compliance with the Temporary Foreign Worker Program and/or the International Mobility Program, including possible fines and prohibitions on hiring foreign workers.  The fines can range from a few hundred dollars to up to a maximum of $1,000,000.00 in a calendar year.  The bans can range from a few months to a permanent ban.

The Government of Canada maintains what is commonly called an Employer Blacklist on its website. 

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