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  • Article: Employer Foreign Worker Program Compliance – Now Ontario Compliance Required. By Benjamin A. Kranc

    Employer Foreign Worker Program Compliance – Now Ontario Compliance Required


    In our July 20, 2015 edition of ImmPulse[1] , we noted that the requirements for employer compliance with regard to temporary foreign workers continue to grow stricter. As set out in that newsletter, new measures will come into effect on December 1 which will create a more stringent compliance regime, and which will have harsher consequences for breaches of the temporary foreign worker program. Among other issues, employers may face fines of up to $100,000 per violation. ImmPulse™ will have further information about developments as they become available and as we near the December 1 implementation date.

    However, in addition to the above-noted federally implemented compliance issues, employers must also be aware of provincial legislation that may affect them, vis-à-vis foreign workers. Over time, provinces are implementing legislation or regulations that could impact their access to temporary foreign workers. Some of that legislation relates to issues such as payment of recruitment fees, or other issues about which a government may be concerned.

    Today, we wish to focus on the recently-passed, and soon to be implemented ‘Ontario Immigration Act’. There are various aspects to the new law, but a great deal of it relates to creation of an employer registry. Registration may be required before an employer would be allowed to hire foreign workers. The conditions for the right to register are not yet set.

    What is crucial to recognize at this time is that under the new legislation, powers are being provided to provincial government officials that include:

    • The authority to enforce issues relating to contraventions of the Ontario act, OR, the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (‘IRPA’ – the primary federal immigration legislation).
    • The authority to ‘collaborate’ with the Government of Canada
    • The authority to cooperate with the Government of Canada, and law enforcement agencies (or others bodies which may be designated)

    Further, in terms of method of investigation, these government officials will have, among other powers, the right to:

    • Access to all documents and records relating to an inspection
    • Make ‘reasonable’ inquiries of any person with respect to an inspection
    • Access any “data storage, processing or retrieval device or system…”
    • Remove or copy any information collected

    In view of the newness of the law (and its non-implementation to date), it is not fully clear how Ontario enforcement officers will be behaving given their powers. However, it would seem that in addition to any enforcement of provincially mandated issues, inspections by these officers could have implications leading back to the issues of federal enforcement noted above.

    This legislation relates to Ontario, but certainly, expect possible similar laws in other provinces. We will provide relevant information as it becomes available.

    Employers face ongoing hurdles to hiring foreign workers as well as increasing compliance requirements. It is crucial that all employers remain aware of the ongoing changes, and adapt accordingly.

    The information in this article is for general purposes only, and not intended as legal advice for any particular situation.

    [1] http://www.kranclaw.com/2015/07/further-consequences-to-employers-for-immigration-non-compliance/

    This post originally appeared on Kranc Associates. Reprinted with permission.

    About The Author

    Benjamin A. Kranc

    Benjamin A. Kranc is senior principal of Kranc Associates, a leading Canadian corporate immigration law firm. He has many years of experience assisting clients in connection with Canadian immigration and business issues. Ben is certified by the Law Society of Upper Canada as a Specialist in Immigration Law. He is also on the ‘Who’s Who Legal’ list of foremost practitioners in Canadian corporate immigration, as well as rated as AV Preeminent® in a Martindale-Hubbell peer review. Ben has spoken at numerous conferences, seminars, and information sessions – both for professional organizations and private groups – about issues in Canadian immigration law, and has also taught immigration law at Seneca College in Toronto. In addition, Ben has written extensively. He is the author of a leading text on Canadian immigration law entitled “North American Relocation Law” (Thomson Reuters) and contributing immigration author to the “The Human Resources Advisor” (First Reference Books). Ben can be contacted at (416) 977-7500 ext. 226, or bkranc@kranclaw.com.

    The opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the opinion of ILW.COM.

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