Effective July 2014, Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) have implemented several changes to the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP). Employers applying to hire TFWs at the racetrack (Grooms, Exercise Riders and Jockeys) must now pay a processing fee of $1,000 for each position requested to cover the cost of the Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA). This fee cannot be recovered in any way by the employer or they will be blacklisted, suspended or fined. Employers must still advertise the position for a minimum of 4 weeks and the job must remain posted until a positive LMO is received.

ESDC have also introduced a median wage for Ontario in the amount of $21.00/hour. Any job offered with a lower wage then the median is subject to a “Cap” on the amount of foreign workers they are allowed to hire. From July 2014 to July 15 only 30% of their work force is allowed to be foreign workers, dropping 10% every year that follows. Job offers above the median wage are required to submit a “Transition Plan” with their LMIA. This plan must include ways the employer is reducing their reliance on TFW’s, introducing skill training or provide proof they are helping TFW’s become a permanent resident of Canada.

Effective immediately the Government is increasing their number of inspections to one out of every four employers using the TFWP will be reviewed each year. This will included onsite visits, employer and/or employee interviews, extending from two to six year period in which ESDC and CIC can verify wages, working conditions and occupations previously provided in LMIA or work permit applications. Subject to these changes employers are required to keep all documentation related to their applications including resumes for six year. Furthermore, as of fall 2014, ESDC will be authorized to compel banks and payroll companies to provide documentation to help inspectors verify that employers are in compliance to TFWP rules.

For full details please contact Corinne Phillips at the HBPA Backstretch Office at Woodbine, phone: 416-675-3802, or by email: cep@hbpa.on.ca or visit ESDC’s website for up-to-date information here.