Canada: Changes To The Labour Market Opinion Process

On July 31, 2013, Employment and Social Development Canada (formerly Human Resources and Skills Development Canada) released new standards for processing applications for Labour Market Opinions.


Key Features Include the Following:

Labour Market Opinion Application Fee

Employers must pay a processing fee of $275 for each position requested to cover the cost of a Labour Market Opinion (LMO). The only exemption from this fee are applicants under the Agricultural Worker Program or the Agricultural Stream.  There will be no refund in the event of a negative LMO, or if the application is withdrawn or cancelled by the employer since the fee covers the assessment process and not the outcome.  Employers requesting to have a negative LMO application reconsidered must submit a new application and processing fee for each position.

Language Restriction

English and French are the only languages that can be identified as a job requirement, both in LMO requests and in advertisements by employers, unless employers can demonstrate that another language is essential for the job.

Wages, Working Conditions and Occupations

Employers hiring temporary foreign workers must:

  • comply with the prevailing wage set by Service Canada;
  • be prepared to provide documentation that clearly demonstrates the wage being paid to the foreign workers.

Employers must refer to the median wage posted on the Working in Canada website.  No other salary information source can be used.

New Advertising Requirements

Employers will need to make greater efforts to hire Canadians before they will be eligible to apply for an LMO.

The new advertising requirements do not apply to the Live-in Caregiver Program and positions related to on-farm in primary agriculture, the Seasonal Agricultural Worker Program, and the Agriculture Stream.

Proof of Advertisement

Employers must demonstrate that they meet the advertising requirements by providing proof of advertisement and the results of their efforts to recruit Canadian citizens and permanent residents (e.g. copy of advertisement and information to support where, when and for how long the position was advertised). Records of the employers' efforts should be kept for a minimum of 6 years.

Advertising Duration and Methods

Employers must advertise available positions in Canada for at least 4 weeks before applying for an LMO. This requirement applies to all advertising methods.

The following are the rules for High-Skilled Occupations: NOC 0, A & B.

In addition to advertising on the national Job Bank website or the equivalent provincial/territorial websites, employers must prove that they have used at least two other recruitment methods that are consistent with the advertising practices for the occupation. If hiring for a higher-skilled occupation, then one of the methods must be national in scope.

Employers must continue to advertise the available position and actively seek qualified Canadians and permanent residents until the date they receive notification that an LMO has been issued.

To meet the minimum advertising requirements set by the program, employers must advertise:

  • On the national Job Bank or its provincial/territorial counterpart in British Columbia, Saskatchewan, the Northwest Territories, Quebec or Newfoundland and Labrador.
    • The advertisement must be posted for a minimum of 4 weeks starting from the first day the ad appears and is accessible to the general public.
    • The advertisement must remain posted to actively seek qualified Canadians and permanent residents until the date a labour market opinion is issued.
  • Using 2 or more additional methods of recruitment consistent with the normal practice for the occupation.
    • As a minimum, employers must choose one method that is national in scope, since people in higher-skilled positions are often mobile and willing to re-locate for work; and
    • Employers can choose one or more recruitment methods among these:
      • print media (national or provincial/territorial newspapers, national journals, magazines with national coverage, specialized journals, professional associations magazines, newsletters, etc.);
      • general employment websites (canadastop100.com, vault.com, workopolis.com, monster.ca, etc.); and,
      • specialized websites dedicated to specific occupation profiles (e.g. accounting, marketing, biotechnology, education, engineering, etc.).
    • The advertisement must be posted for a minimum of 4 weeks starting from the first day the ad appears and is accessible to the general public.

Employers must demonstrate that the print media and websites used to advertise target an audience that has the appropriate education, professional experience and/or skill level required for the occupation.

The advertisement must include the following:

  • Company operating name
  • Business address
  • Title of position
  • Job duties (for each position, if advertising more than one vacancy)
  • Terms of employment (e.g. project based, permanent position)
  • Wage
  • Benefits package being offered (if applicable)
  • Location of work (local area, city or town)
  • Contact information: telephone number, cell phone number, email address, fax number, or mailing address; and
  • Skills requirements:
    • Education
    • Work experience

Other methods of recruitment could include:

  • Participation at job fairs;
  • Partnering with training institutions or offering internships;
  • Use of professional recruitment agencies;
  • Consultations with unions for available labour;
  • Advertising through professional associations; or
  • Recruitment within the company (e.g. considering internal candidates for the position).
    • A Human Resources Plan may outline:
      • the training opportunities for existing employees;
      • a list of competencies for employees;
      • workshops and/or programs for professional development and career management; or
      • specific programs to target specific employees for advancement

Employers may be required to conduct alternative or additional advertisement efforts, such as increased duration (length of time) or broader advertisement (whether local, regional or national). These additional efforts would be required if Service Canada determines that they would likely yield qualified Canadian citizens and permanent residents who are available to work in the occupation and region.

New Rules for LMO Applications of Post-graduation Work Permit Holders

Citizenship and Immigration Canada's (CIC) Post-graduation Work Permit Program provides Canadian work experience to eligible foreign students graduating from a participating Canadian post-secondary institution.

Employers who wish to obtain an LMO to employ a graduate following the completion of his/her Post-graduation Work Permit while awaiting the finalization of his/her application for permanent residence, must ensure that:

  • The LMO application is submitted to Service Canada within 90 days of the expiration of the Post-graduation Work Permit to avail themselves of the exemption from the recruitment and advertising efforts requirement.
  • Until further notice, the median wage for the position in the region is offered. Previously, the wage was permitted to be lower than the posted median wage rate listed on the Working in Canada website. This exception is now under review.
  • The position offered to the graduate is for a high-skilled occupation classified as management, professional or technical (NOC 0, A or B)

New LMO Application Form Questions on Impact on the Canadian Job Market

The LMO application will now include additional questions that must be answered by the employer. These questions were added to ensure that the LMO process is not used to facilitate the outsourcing of Canadian jobs. A negative LMO will be issued if an assessment indicates that hiring a temporary foreign worker will have a negative impact on the Canadian labour market or if an employer has not complied with the program requirements.

Norton Rose Fulbright Canada LLP

Norton Rose Fulbright is a global legal practice. We provide the world's pre-eminent corporations and financial institutions with a full business law service. We have more than 3800 lawyers based in over 50 cities across Europe, the United States, Canada, Latin America, Asia, Australia, Africa, the Middle East and Central Asia.

Recognized for our industry focus, we are strong across all the key industry sectors: financial institutions; energy; infrastructure, mining and commodities; transport; technology and innovation; and life sciences and healthcare.

Wherever we are, we operate in accordance with our global business principles of quality, unity and integrity. We aim to provide the highest possible standard of legal service in each of our offices and to maintain that level of quality at every point of contact.

Norton Rose Fulbright LLP, Norton Rose Fulbright Australia, Norton Rose Fulbright Canada LLP, Norton Rose Fulbright South Africa (incorporated as Deneys Reitz Inc) and Fulbright & Jaworski LLP, each of which is a separate legal entity, are members ('the Norton Rose Fulbright members') of Norton Rose Fulbright Verein, a Swiss Verein. Norton Rose Fulbright Verein helps coordinate the activities of the Norton Rose Fulbright members but does not itself provide legal services to clients.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

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