In an effort to tackle concerns surrounding wage suppression, the Minister of Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC), Randy Boissonnault, has introduced new wage requirements for Canada work permits. These changes, outlined in the updated Temporary Foreign Worker (TFW) Program Workforce Solutions Road Map, aim to align with the current labor market conditions and long-term economic outlook.
Starting January 1, 2024, employers will be mandated to annually reassess the wages of temporary foreign workers, adjusting them to reflect prevailing wage rates for specific occupations and locations in Canada. This periodic wage review ensures that companies consistently compensate temporary foreign workers at the prevailing market rate throughout their employment.
Furthermore, the Canadian government has extended certain measures until August 30, 2024, subject to reassessment based on ongoing developments in the labor market and economy. These measures include:
The TFW Program’s Workforce Solutions Road Map aids organizations in meeting current labor market demands while upholding employment and wage standards in Canada. The ESDC will actively monitor the market to ensure the program safeguards temporary foreign laborers and adapts to changes in the Canadian economy.
As of October 8, 2023, there has been a significant increase of approximately 40% in the number of files created compared to the same period in the previous fiscal year (2023–24). This surge indicates sustained demand for the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP).
To streamline processes, the TFWP has introduced the LMIA Online Portal, enhancing processing efficiency and allowing employers to promptly address labor market demands. The government has also launched the Recognized Employer Pilot (REP) to support employers prioritizing worker protection, reducing administrative burdens for compliant employers, and addressing labor market shortages.
For those unfamiliar, the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP) in Canada permits employers to hire foreign workers on a temporary basis when qualified Canadians or permanent residents are unavailable.
Regarding processing times for Canada work permits, recent updates from IRCC indicate that 80% of online work permit applications have been processed in an average of 134 days over the last 6 months. It’s essential to note that processing times may vary based on factors such as the type of work permit, application location, and time of year.
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