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New regulations for employers of temporary workers

New regulations under the International Mobility Program (IMP)

The Government of Canada is working closely with partners in Canada and around the world, including the World Health Organization, to respond to the current outbreak of coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

Like everyone in Canada adapting to the COVID-19 pandemic, employers and workers are expected to follow the latest public health and safety requirements and guidance from the Government of Canada, and from their respective provincial/territorial and local authorities, to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

To further support these efforts, the Government has created new requirements for International Mobility Program employers of temporary workers. These amendments to the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations create new conditions for foreign nationals and employers to ensure they comply with federal, provincial and territorial efforts to protect public health and impose consequences on those who fail to follow the new requirements.

For instance, a worker who fails to follow a mandatory 14-day quarantine period can now become inadmissible to Canada. For employers, non-compliance can result in penalties under the existing employer compliance regime, including administrative monetary penalties and/or bans on hiring foreign workers in the future.

New mandatory conditions for International Mobility Program employers

  • You must not prevent a temporary worker from complying with orders and regulations made under the Quarantine Act, or with provincial laws regulating public health in response to COVID-19. This includes requiring a worker to do anything that is contrary to those requirements.
  • You must pay wages that are substantially the same as offered in the offer of employment during the period of mandatory quarantine when the worker first arrives in Canada, as per the current Quarantine Act order, even if the worker is unable to perform any work.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, officers at Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) will conduct inspections for compliance with these new conditions. Officers may contact you via electronic means and/or by telephone to initiate an inspection, or to request additional information. The inspection process may be complemented by phone interviews with you and, separately, with workers. It is essential that your contact information is up to date in the Employer Portal. Inspections can be launched up to 6 years after you have employed a temporary worker.

Please note that if the position offered is no longer available, you should advise your foreign employee to wait to travel to Canada until the position is available.

To minimize the risk of spreading COVID-19, we encourage you and your employees to continue to be diligent in following public health orders and guidance. We recognize that these are challenging times and that the cooperation of employers like you is vitally important in keeping Canada safe and Canadians and temporary foreign workers healthy.

For more information on the International Mobility Program, including these new requirements, please visit the IRCC website.