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ESDC Announces Adjustments to Temporary Foreign Worker Program in Response to Current Economic Conditions and Concerns of Wage Suppression

In April 2022, the Canadian government introduced the TFWP Workforce Solutions Road Map to help employers meet their labour needs in a tight labour market featuring historically low unemployment. The government also committed to reviewing and adjusting policies under this Road Map as labour market and economic conditions evolved over time.

This week, several changes to the Workforce Solutions Road Map were announced in order to better reflect current labour market trends and changes to Canada’s economic outlook. These changes include:

  • In sectors with demonstrated labour shortages, the cap on the proportion of foreign workers that can be hired in low-wage positions at a specific work location will continue to be increased from 10% to 30%;
  • The maximum employment duration that can be requested in low-wage LMIA applications will continue to be extended from 1 year to 2 years;
  • Newly issued LMIAs will be valid for 12 months (down from 18 months); and
  • Starting January 1, 2024, employer will be required to annually review foreign workers’ wages and ensure they foreign workers receive at least the prevailing wage for their occupation and work location.

These policy changes will be in place until August 30, 2024, and will continue to be reviewed as labour market conditions shift. They are intended to continue to make it easier for employers in sectors facing the most serious labour shortages to hire and retain foreign workers, while also addressing concerns of wage suppression and ensure that all workers’ wages are protected and can grow.