The Canadian government has implemented several compliance-related changes affecting temporary foreign workers and their employers.

New Employer Conditions:

  • Employers must not do anything to prevent their employees from complying with requirements under the Emergencies Act or the Quarantine Act or provincial laws regulating public health.
  • Employers are required to pay the wages of foreign workers during self-isolation or quarantine, as set out in the offer of employment.
  • Employers under the International Mobility Program are not required to provide accommodations or incur additional costs related to COVID-19, other than paying the wages throughout self-isolation or quarantine periods once their foreign employees have entered Canada, even if they are unable to work during that time. Some employers under the Temporary Foreign Worker program (e.g. Agricultural Stream) are required to provide housing and pay for transportation, health insurance, etc., in addition to paying wages during self-isolation and quarantine.
  • Foreign workers are entitled to the provisions of sick leave or other appropriate leave if they fall ill and a subsequent period of isolation is required.

Employer Inspections:

  • Inspections may be triggered if there is a notification of the spread of a communicable disease at the workplace of a foreign worker or an employer employs a foreign worker who is or was subject to an order made under the Emergency Act or Quarantine Act.
  • Employers can be selected for inspection any time within six years of work permit issuance. Documents related to compliance, e.g., proof of payment of wages during self-isolation after entry to Canada or compliance with sick leave provisions, must be retained for six years.
  • IRCC is conducting desk inspections to collect information from employers to assess compliance with new COVID-19 conditions (self-isolation for 14 days after entry to Canada, etc.).

Analysis & Comments: The response to the COVID-19 pandemic continues to develop, and more information will be provided as it becomes available.

This alert was prepared by de Lint LLP, an independent immigration law firm, allied with Deloitte LLP in Canada.