Temporary Foreign Worker Program Violations – CIC Announces Strict Employer Penalties
Canadian employers who violate the rules of two of Canada’s foreign worker programs, including the Temporary Foreign Worker Program, are in for strict penalties, say Citizenship and Immigration Canada and Social Development Canada. The new rules take effect later this year, on December 1, 2015.
Currently employers caught violating these programs are banned from using them for 2 years. But there is no extra penalty for employers depending on the severity of the violation.
The new penalties ban employers for 1, 2, 5 or 10 years depending on the severity of the lack of compliance with the conditions of the foreign worker programs. CIC and Social Development Canada consider how bad the violation is, how many violations the employer has in its history, and the type of violation.
There will also be monetary fines imposed. They are called “administrative monetary penalties,” or AMPs. The AMPs are cumulative. This means the more the violations, the greater the employer’s fine.
The Government of Canada thinks this will go a long way to encourage compliance with the temporary foreign worker program and other foreign worker programs. “Stiff new consequences,” said Employment Minister Pierre Poilievre,” will encourage compliance and help prevent employers from misusing the programs or mistreating workers by ensuring that employers who violate program conditions face appropriate consequences.”
How did CIC and Social Development Canada come up with these penalties for non-compliance with the temporary foreign worker programs? Social Development Canada came up with a list of consequences back in September 2014. After then, the Government of Canada consulted with many stakeholder groups to get their impressions (quite a few, at 42 groups).
Some other notes: there is a cap of $1 million dollars per employer per year, in administrative monetary penalties. Employers have 30 days to respond to the findings of any inspection. Employers can voluntarily disclose mistakes in order to receive a less severe penalty. Ugh, the less severe penalty might end up being just a written warning! Let’s hope there aren’t too many of these. How ridiculous. Finally, the Canadian government will publish a list of blacklisted companies—these are companies that have been banned from the program, rather than companies that have been found to be in non-compliance only.