Federal Court rules on first LMIA employer compliance case

First decision on compliance in new regulatory regime emphasizes importance of documentation for everything
By Sergio Karas
|Canadian Employment Law Today|Last Updated: 11/08/2017

Employers who employ temporary foreign workers have faced a flurry of new regulations in recent years, leading to confusion for some and increased paperwork for most. A recent Federal Court decision – the first to deal with compliance under the new legislative regime – shows that one thing hasn’t changed: The need to document all aspects of the foreign worker’s employment.

Since the end of 2015, employers who obtain a labour market impact assessment (LMIA) are subject to a strict compliance regulatory regime created to prevent abuse of foreign workers and to increase the protection of the Canadian labour market.

The relevant provisions that created the compliance scheme are found in the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act Regulations (IRPR), and are set out in three parts: the first relates to the requirement not to modify wages and working conditions agreed upon in the LMIA, and to make reasonable efforts to provide an abuse-free work place; the second part deals with the retention of documents; and the third part imposes administrative penalties for breaches. The compliance regime is cumbersome and has caused considerable confusion amongst employers.