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Ottawa Provides Open Work Permits to International Workers Facing Abuse

February 2019, 16
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Ottawa Provides Open Work Permits to International Workers Facing Abuse

The Canadian government is set to provide temporary foreign workers who face employer abuse to change to an open work permit.

Proposed reforms would mean T.F.Ws who have witnessed abuse to be able to obtain a job elsewhere in Canada.

Presently, workers who expose themselves tied to abusive companies by their work permits meet the threat of losing their Canadian status if they make a complaint.

Immigration officers presently cannot announce new work permits in situations where TFWs have been subjected to blame. Where a complaint is made, officials will request an investigation of the company in question.

Below recommended changes, officers will have the authority to issue open work permits wherever abuse is proved. The applicant would be free from the $155 processing fee, with the open work permit length at the consideration of the immigration officer.

Estimates recommend approximately 500 TFWs per year would appeal for the open work permit. In 2017 the figures are above 300,000 TFWs were working in Canada, of which half had work permits attached to a particular employer.

Such work permits are primarily announced to agricultural workers and caregivers.

BC Temporary Foreign Worker Protection Act

While British Columbia currently announced plans to increase protection of its approximately 50,000 temporary foreign workers.

The province announced Bill 48, the BC Temporary Foreign Worker Protection Act, which will see the production of licensing registries and requirements for recruiters of international workers and companies.

Industries in forestry, agriculture, fishing, and hunting account for approximately 50 percent of the temporary international workers in British Columbia.

Bill 48 got a royal evaluation in Nov 2018.  Regulations are demanded early in 2019 to carry the act into force.

Two registries will be generated for:

  • Employment Recruiters, and

  • Employers.

The current law will need employment agencies and recruiters to hold licenses, while employers are hiring international workers, must hold provincial government certificates of registration.

Registration will be free and online, with both certificates and licenses valid for 03 years.

Stricter penalties for those who break the act entail fines of up to $50,000 for employers, as well as one year in jail, while organizations face penalties of up to $100,000.

B.C. follows a growing list of Canadian provinces (Ontario, Nova Scotia, Manitoba, Alberta, Saskatchewan), which control foreign workers hiring which expressly prevents charging international workers a fee to find a job.

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