The last few years has seen some major changes to the rules
governing the ability of Canadian employers to bring temporary
foreign workers into Canada. Recently the government introduced
changes to the Temporary Foreign Worker Program which oversees and
administers the issuance of opinions(previously called LMO's or
Labour market Opinions) which form the legal basis for work permit
eligibility for many temporary foreign workers.
The Labour Market Opinion has now been renamed the Labour Market
Impact Assessment (LMIA) and is overseen by Employment and Social
Development Canada. One of the more significant changes to the
system is the reclassification of high-skilled and
low-skilled workers. A position that pays more than the
average wage will be considered a high-skilled position and a
position that pays less than the provincial average wage will be
considered low-skilled. There is also further requirement that a
transition plan be filled with applications for high-skilled
workers, with certain exceptions.
There is also now a cap of 10% of the workforce for low-skilled
occupations, and companies who presently employ more than 10% have
been given deadlines to phase out excess workers.
Additionally geographical areas of the country with an employment
rate of 6% or more will be ineligible to employ workers in the
These changes have led to a short term dramatic drop of 74
percent in the number of LMIA applications filed by employers,
according to government statistics and are detrimentally impacting
companies who want to bring temporary foreign workers to Canada.
This along with other changes to LMIA exempt categories and a
greater emphasis on enforcement of business travellers at the
border by Canada Border Services agency make it a very challenging
time for employers. Companies should seek instructions from an
experienced immigration lawyer to help facilitate the issuance of
work permits for foreign nationals seeking to work in Canada.
Unfortunately, reasonable accommodation for employees in the workplace continues to be the source of significant litigation and even today we continue to see outrageous examples of employers behaving badly.
We are now beginning to see reported cases involving charges and subsequent fines laid against employers for failing to provide information, instruction and supervision to protect a worker from workplace violence.
On October 13, 2016, the Supreme Court of Canada denied leave to appeal an Ontario Court of Appeal decision which ordered an employer to pay a former employee 37 months of salary and benefits following termination.
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).