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Merging of Employment and Immigration Laws Continues

The Government of Canada has modified the Immigration, Refugees and Protection Regulations (“IRPR”) to enhance the protection of foreign workers in Canada. The following summarizes the changes and how they may impact employers and foreign workers. 

Enhanced Scrutiny for Compliance with New Regulations

Canada’s regulations for protecting foreign workers mean employers should follow the revised IRPR carefully. It extends beyond adhering to the rules; it’s also about creating a culture of respect and safety for foreign workers. Further, employers should consistently verify and ensure that their business practices align with the government’s regulations. Keeping pace with new laws is important, prompting employers to adjust their strategies accordingly.

Labour Market Impact Assessment (“LMIA”) – Employer Review of an Abuse-Free Workplace

All employers applying for an LMIA are now subject to a review of their ‘reasonable efforts’ to maintain a workplace free from abuse. This review will show if employers hiring foreign workers stopped workplace abuse and took action against it. What does this mean in practice? In short, employers should prepare to update policies and practices that impact foreign workers. 

Provide Temporary Foreign Workers with Information about their Rights

The government now mandates that all employers provide their foreign national employees with information regarding their rights.  

This information must be provided to foreign workers on or before their first day of work. Ensuring accessibility for foreign workers is key, such as having it posted in a visible place at the workplace. Whether you’re an employer or an employee, understanding the law is no longer just a nicety but a legal requirement.

Provide Temporary Foreign Workers with their Employment Contract

Before the foreign worker starts, employers must give them a copy of their work agreement. Both the employer and worker should sign it. The employment contract should mention the same occupation, pay, and work conditions as stated in the job offer. 

Therefore, employers should ensure that they carry out immigration planning in tandem with employment legal matters. 

Temporary Foreign Workers must have Access to Healthcare Services

All employers must make reasonable efforts to grant access to healthcare services when a temporary foreign worker is injured or ill at work. Foreign workers without provincial or territorial health insurance must obtain and pay for private health insurance. This insurance should cover emergency medical care. The employer should not deduct any money from the employee’s pay for this private health insurance. 

Employers need to coordinate immigration, employment, and employee benefits for effective management. Not doing so could result not just in sanction but a requirement to act as a third-party insurer for any health care costs. 

Impact on Foreign Workers and the Canadian Labour Market

These regulatory enhancements have significant implications for foreign workers in Canada. They offer an added layer of security and assurance, fostering a more equitable work environment. This change helps make competition fair in Canada’s job market by making sure foreign workers are treated well and not undervalued. This change reflects Canada’s commitment to upholding human rights and maintaining its reputation as a welcoming destination for international talent.

Legal Implications for Non-Compliance

The consequences of non-compliance with these new regulations can be severe for employers. Legal ramifications may include:

  • hefty fines,
  • reputational damage, and 
  • even revocation of the privilege to hire foreign workers. 

Employers must understand the legal implications of these changes and take proactive steps to ensure that their practices are in full compliance with the IRPR amendments.

Future Directions in Immigration and Employment Law

As the intersection between immigration and employment law continues to evolve, businesses must stay abreast of these developments. The trend indicates a move towards more integrated and comprehensive frameworks governing foreign workers’ employment. Given the possibility of future laws becoming more stringent, employers should consistently monitor on and adjust to changing legal rules.


The recent changes to the IRPR represent a significant shift in how Canada manages the employment of foreign workers. They underscore the country’s commitment to fair and ethical treatment of all workers, regardless of their origin. As these changes unfold, both employers and foreign workers must remain informed and compliant. For expert guidance and support, consider seeking legal advice from specialized employment and immigration lawyers in Canada.

In short, the rules of the game have changed. A new era of transparency, accountability, and protection for temporary foreign workers in Canada has arrived. If you have any questions or believe you may require legal assistance (from the employer or employee perspective), contact employment and immigration lawyers, Sultan Lawyers, online or call us today at 416-214-5111. 

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