Updates from the Commissioner for Employers of TFW

Due to several work stoppage situations, including those caused by labour disputes or unforeseen events (e.g., flooding, forest fires, etc.), Canada Employment Insurance Commission (CEIC) – Employment & Social Development Canada has released an important information update on employers’ responsibilities regarding Temporary Foreign Workers (TFW).

It is understood these events present challenges to businesses; however, employers are still expected to meet all obligations set out in offers of employment, as well as the Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) decision letter and its corresponding annexes. For example:

TFWs must be provided with full-time employment in the same job as stated in the employment offer and must receive wages as set out in the employment offer and LMIA. If a TFW is affected by a work stoppage, they must receive compensation that, at minimum, is equivalent to full-time work for the entire employment duration, (excluding other income support like Employment Insurance).

Full-time work is an average 30 hours per week over the entire employment duration. The employment duration starts when the work was expected to have started, or no later than seven calendar days after a worker has arrived in Canada, whichever is first. The employment ends when a worker returns home, voluntarily quits or legally commences employment with another employer in Canada. If you determine a TFW is no longer required, you must arrange and pay for return airfare home where it is a Program requirement.

Temporary Foreign Worker Program: Employment Agreement
Employment Agreement sample templates for all streams under the Temporary Foreign Worker (TFW) Program are now available online. These templates will help lessen the administrative burden and support compliance with all program requirements.

  1. Seasonal Agricultural Worker Program (SAWP)
  2. Primary Agriculture: Agricultural Stream, High and Low-wage Agriculture Positions
  3. High Wage Positions Stream
  4. Low-Wage Positions Stream
  5. Global Talent Stream
  6. Permanent Residency
  7. In-home Caregiver

Provinces/Territorial Median Hourly Wage Update for the Temporary Foreign Worker Program
The Program uses wage data from Statistics Canada’s Labour Force Survey to administer the Program and review the Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA). The LMIA also protects the health and safety of temporary foreign workers while in Canada and ensures that appropriate wages.

Employers are eligible for either the low-wage or high-wage streams of the program based on the wage they offer. The updated median wages for 2023 are now available online and are in effect May 31, 2023. The online application form will be updated automatically, as of May 31, 2023.

LMIAs received on or after this date, will require the application forms and employers must meet the program requirements of the new stream, using the updated median wages. Note that a 90-calendar-day transition period may be available, but only on an exceptional basis. More information about the application process is available on the Employment and Social Development Canada website.

Change to the Record of Employment (ROE) Serial Numbers
This month, the prefix for serial numbers assigned in Record of Employment on the web (ROEWeb) will change to M (from W). ROEWeb assigns the serial number automatically, when ROEs are submitted, so there is no action required.

The previous W serial numbers are still valid and previously issued W- ROEs may be amended, if required. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact the Employer Contact Centre at 1-800-367-5693.

If you have questions on the TFW Program, please visit Canada.ca or contact the Employer Contact Centre.

Read the full Commissioner’s news bulletin (English).

Lire le bulletin d’information complet du commissaire (français).