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Canadian Temporary Workers and their Rights Introduction

Canada’s economic growth has been uneven during the previous decade. As a result, the Canadian government extended its Temporary Foreign Workers Program (TFWP). Under TFWP, many Canadian companies hire foreign employees from a variety of nations.

So, if you are from another nation, you will need a Canadian work permit and a work visa to work in Canada. However, you can work without permission or a job offer with a temporary work visa in Canada in some situations. 

This allows companies to hire temporary foreign workers who have temporary work visas in Canada for low-skilled positions. However, Temporary Foreign Workers (TFW) are more vulnerable to exploitation since they do not have the same rights and advantages as Canadian citizens or permanent residents. 

The goal of this article is to see understand the TFWs and their contribution and susceptibility to abuse. 

Contribution Of Temporary Foreign Workers

TFWs are significant contributors to the Canadian economy. As per the Conference Board of Canada, 113,800 positions will be vacant by 2025, showing a rising labor shortage.

Unsurprisingly, foreign employees permitted to work in Canada temporarily with a work visa in Canada have soared in recent years. 

Migrant farmworkers made up 12% of Canada’s agricultural employment in 2014, with 567,077 migrant workers employed in the country. Thousands of migrant workers strengthen Canada’s economy and support the agricultural, home care, and other lower-wage sectors every year. 

The major motivation of Canada’s policy towards allowing foreign employees temporary work. Visas to Canada to work in the nation is the need to fill a labor deficit. 

The Global Migration 

For migratory workers seeking career prospects and labor in other countries, globalization has offered many doors. Nations such as Austria, Germany, and Switzerland have been utilizing TFWs. When they did not have immigration settlement rules and faced a labor shortage. 


Applicants for the TFW program of Canada must meet the following requirements:

  • Individuals must receive a job offer from a Canadian company. 
  • Possess a Temporary work visa in Canada
  • In most situations, the company that has offered a temporary job must file for a Labour Market Impact Assessment from the Canadian government in order to engage a foreign worker.
  • Individuals can be denied entry to Canada on the basis of criminal, medical, or financial records.

Condition and Rights

Employers hiring foreign employees must abide by several requirements laid forth in Canadian immigration law.

The most important is the obligation to pay foreign workers’ wages and work conditions that are substantially similar to having a work visa in Canada.

 In fact, this implies that employers must adhere to their employment contracts in terms of salaries, working hours, responsibilities, and benefits.

Government authorities may conduct inspections and audits of Canadian employers of foreign employees. They must disclose any documents related to their compliance on demand. In fact, the government is declare that onsite inspections of companies that use foreign employees would be increased.

Non-compliance with any conditions will only be justified in certain circumstances. Such as changes in federal or provincial law, new employer measures in response to dramatic changes in economic conditions, or errors made in good faith or because of an administrative error (if the employer made sufficient efforts to compensate foreign workers).

Employers can apply to Canada’s TFWP through four fresh streams: high-wage, low-wage, main agricultural (including the Seasonal Agricultural Workers Program or SAWP), and permanent residence. The Live-in Caregiver Program (LCP) is no longer a separate stream, and LMIA applications are now considering in both the high-wage and low-wage streams as of 2014.

Human Rights Abuses in Canada’s TFW Programs

Migrant temporary workers in Canada are protected by federal and provincial legislation that safeguards workplace and human rights. 

However, there are loopholes in the application of these safeguards. Human rights violations have been reported in all TFW programs: racism, discrimination, and shady contracts that restrict workers from developing outside connections and regulate their behavior (such as mandating the use of deodorant). 

Some have been working in Canada for decades without being able to get permanent residency to have a temporary work visa in Canada. 

Workers’ repatriation to their home countries after being injured on the job has also been reported. Migrant employees who cannot work because of illness or injury and do not have a work visa in Canada are frequently dismissed and deported to their home country, with no opportunity to appeal. 

There were 787 medical repatriations among Ontario’s 170,315 migrant farm laborers between 2001 and 2011. Medical or surgical causes accounted for 41.3 percent of the 787 medical repatriations, while external injuries accounted for 25.5 percent. 

Repatriation is also a possibility for other sorts of temporary foreign workers, such as LCPs.


Canada employs thousands of migrant workers each year thanks to its Temporary Foreign Worker Program. While provincial and federal rights protection procedures exist, and Canada has committed to strengthening its TFWP, migrant worker abuses continue to record. The demand for labor will see an increase in the number of workers. It falls on the Government to protect the basic rights of the alien workforce.  

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