In a previous post I wrote about how employers seeking to hire a temporary foreign worker will now have to pass the STS test. This generated some interesting feedback, and I want to expand on the new test.
Substantially the Same, or STS, is an assessment of whether an employer has provided its other foreign workers wages, working conditions and employment in occupations that were substantially the same as those items set out in the employer’s job offer during the period beginning two years prior to an Application for a Labour Market Opinion or a Work Permit.
If there has been a failure to comply with a previous job offer term, employers will be given an opportunity to justify any discrepancies. Reasonable justifications include:
- A change in federal/provincial/territorial law or a change to a collective agreement;
- Changes the employer had to make in the workplace in response to a dramatic change in economic conditions that were not directed disproportionately at foreign workers;
- An error made in good faith by the employer in interpreting obligations regarding wages, working conditions or occupation, and the employer has provided or made sufficient efforts to provide compensation to any foreign nationals that have suffered a disadvantage;
- An administrative accounting error by the employer, and the employer has provided or made sufficient efforts to provide compensation to any foreign nationals that have suffered a disadvantage; or
- Circumstances similar to those set out above.
Employers who have failed to meet their commitments as promised in past job offers, and who have failed to provide reasonable justification or to rectify the situation by providing appropriate compensation to the former employee may face:
- The refusal of work permit applications for any foreign national offered a job by that employer;