What is the change? The new labor market opinion application form requires employers to give authorities the power to perform on-site spot checks of an employer’s documents to ensure compliance with wages and working conditions.

What does the change mean? In anticipation of a spot check by inspectors, employers should review their documents, including payroll records, and make sure they are in compliance with the conditions and requirements of all labor market approvals.

  • Implementation timeframe: Immediate and ongoing.
  • Visas/permits affected: Work permits based on Labor Market Opinion (LMO) approvals.
  • Who is affected: Companies and employees applying through the LMO process.
  • Impact on processing times: None.
  • Business impact: It is too early to tell whether there will be more inspections, but businesses may be impacted by an increased focus on compliance.

Background: The change, which appears on the new Labor Market Opinion application form released in December 2013, is based on new regulations. The application requires an employer to sign a statement agreeing to be subject to inspection at any workplace location, and that the employer will cooperate with such an on-site inspection.

While employers have been subject to paper audits, this change gives inspectors explicit authority to visit worksites, inspect an employers’ files and request information. Inspections would be conducted by Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC). An employer would normally get 48 hours of notice before a visit, but inspectors may visit without notice if they believe notice would prejudice the inspection.

BAL Analysis: So far, there is no evidence of an increase in on-site inspections. However, the change puts employers on notice of potential spot reviews of compliance with LMO conditions, and they are encouraged to conduct internal reviews to make sure their documentation and working conditions of all LMO employees complies with labor market opinion requirements.

This alert has been provided by the BAL Global Practice group and our network provider located in Canada. For additional information, please contact

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