Canadian law protects all workers in Canada. Temporary foreign workers are included. Being in a foreign country can expose you to abuse or harmful working conditions.
To avoid such scenarios, the Government of Canada assures that temporary foreign workers have standard rights and safeguards.
Knowing your rights as a temporary worker or foreign worker is in your best interests. Being alert guarantees that you are not taken advantage of or put in danger. It will also assist you in becoming a more productive worker.
Temporary foreign workers’ rights in Canada In general, your employer is responsible under Canadian labor regulations. You must be compensated for your efforts.
It is your responsibility to make your workplace safe. Allow yourself breaks and days off. You must follow the conditions of your written contract.
Your employer cannot force you to perform duties for which you were not hired or trained; force you to work if you are sick or injured; take your passport or work permit away from you; deport you from Canada or change your immigration status; or require you to repay fees paid to hire you.
All of these requirements must be met by your employer. These should be included in your job contract as well.
Depending on the type of work or program you are a part of, your company may be required to meet certain standards.
For example, if you are hired as a temporary foreign worker in a low-wage position or under the Agricultural Stream, your employer must:
- pay for all transportation costs to and from Canada
- provide you with private health insurance until you are eligible for the provincial or territorial health insurance plan, so you do not have to pay to see a doctor or go to the hospital if you are sick or injured;
- and provide you with a place to live.
- Employment Standards
- On a provincial level, your legal rights and protections are also guaranteed.
Manitoba’s Employment Standards safeguard you in areas such as minimum salary, leaves, general holidays, overtime and work hours, and more.
These may differ based on your industry or employment. Can you change employers?
Yes, you can change jobs. However, keep in mind the restrictions of your work visa. Depending on the program, you may be required to apply for a new work permit and/or meet other conditions.
It should be noted that procedures for transferring workplaces differ for live-in caregivers and International Experience Canada participants.
You should also know whether your new employer needs approval from the Government of Canada to hire you as a temporary foreign worker (they may need to get a Labour Market Impact Assessment – LMIA).
What if you lose your job?
Before you may be fired or laid off, your employer must give you advance notice. The amount of days for advance notice varies on where you work and how long you’ve been with the company.
In Manitoba, you should be given one week’s notice if you’ve been with the company for at least 30 days but less than a year.
It’s two weeks if you’ve worked for the same employer for more than a year but less than three years.
Employers can either let the employee work out the notice term, provide wages in place of notice for the same number of weeks, or do both.
Employers are not required to provide notice of termination if the employee has been employed for less than 30 days or was terminated for cause.
Employers may refuse to provide you with notice or termination compensation if they can prove that you committed a crime (such as theft or fraud) or lied about your qualifications when you were employed.
Some important words to know
- The Employment Standards Code specifies the rights and obligations of the majority of Manitoba companies and employees.
- Manitoba Employment Standards: The organization in charge of enforcing basic standards and investigating workplace disputes.
- Employment contract: This legal agreement outlines the working terms you and your employer have agreed to.
You must both abide by the terms of this agreement. It should include information regarding job responsibilities, salary deductions, and working conditions.
- Employment period: the period between when an employee begins working for an employer and when the employment terminates.
- Deductions: These are amounts that can be subtracted from your pay, such as taxes, insurance premiums, or pension contributions.
- Termination of employment: when an employer dismisses or ends your employment.
- Lay-off: This is a temporary break in employment where employees are likely to return to work. Employers are not required to provide prior notification.
However, if the layoff is longer than eight weeks in 16 weeks, the becomes a termination, and notice is required.
What is a temporary foreign worker?
When competent Canadians are not available, the Temporary Foreign Worker (TFW) Program allows Canadian firms to engage foreign workers to fill temporary employment.
Is it legal for a temporary foreign worker to bring family to Canada?
Fortunately, Canada has made it feasible for work permit and study permit holders (together known as temporary residence visa (TRV) holders) to bring their family members into the country, including spouses, common-law partners, and dependent children.
What are the rights of temporary employees in Canada?
Your employer must pay you for your work as stipulated in your employment agreement. Overtime work is included if it is part of your agreement. Make reasonable measures to provide you with an abusive-free workplace, including retaliation.
Observe the employment and recruitment policies of the province or territory in which you work.
Can Canadian temporary employees obtain permanent residency?
Temporary workers with an arranged employment offer from a Canadian business can apply for permanent residency under the FSWP.
This is known as “arranged employment.” Applicants must meet specified point requirements based on education, age, adaptability, language abilities, and the job offer.
What are the problems with temporary foreign workers?
Workers are subjected to a variety of forms of mistreatment. Their occupations vanish the moment they arrive. They are paid less than promised or are not compensated for overtime.
They must undertake humiliating personal activities for their boss.
The rights of temporary foreign workers are a complex and evolving issue. While they play a critical role in various economies, ensuring their fair treatment and protection is essential.
By upholding equal employment rights, implementing legal protections, and addressing the challenges faced by TFWs, countries can create a more equitable and just system for these individuals.
Striking a balance between economic benefits and human rights is the key to a more inclusive and compassionate approach to temporary foreign labor.