The Canadian government plans to amend the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA) to protect foreign workers’ rights and improve the government’s oversight in the Labor Market Impact Assessment (LMIA).

Foreign workers’ rights:

  • Employers must provide temporary foreign workers an employment agreement.
  • Employers cannot retaliate against whistleblowers.
  • Employers must give reasonable access to health insurance and care when a worker is injured or becomes ill in the workplace.
  • Recruiters are no longer allowed to charge recruitment fees, and employers will be held liable for recruitment practices.

LMIA oversight:

  • The government will more thoroughly review employers who have not previously used the LMIA process.
  • Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) can defer processing for any employer who is not complying with LMIA protocols, such as unpaid wages or workers performing unapproved job duties.
  • ESDC may now use third parties to evaluate potential noncompliance.

Additional Information: The government recently updated the Job Bank website to include an updated verified employer library, job search tools and improved data security. A public consultation period on the proposed amendments recently ended; any final changes to the amendments will take that consultation into consideration.

BAL Analysis: The proposed amendments are expected to fill existing gaps in worker protections and improve employer compliance. BAL will continue to monitor changes to the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act and will provide more information as it becomes available.

This alert has been provided by the BAL Global Practice group. For additional information, please contact

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