New Penalties for Non-Compliance with Foreign Worker Programs

Does your organization make use of the Temporary Foreign Worker and/or International Mobility Programs? If so, you now have added incentive to ensure your business is compliant with all program rules and conditions: as of December 1st, 2015, new penalties for non-compliance will come into force.

Currently, the consequences of non-compliance by employers are generally limited to a two-year ban from using the programs, and the publication of the employer’s name as a non-compliant employer.

However, as of December 1st, 2015, financial penalties will be introduced. Fines will range from $500 to $100,000 per infraction, depending upon the nature of the violation, the employer’s compliance history, and the size of the business. A maximum of $1 million in fines may be imposed within a one year period. In addition, non-compliance could now warrant a ban from the programs for up to ten years, or even a permanent ban – a significant increase from the previous maximum two-year ban.

Employers who use these programs are thus encouraged by the federal government to review their compliance with the programs’ conditions and to voluntarily disclose any unintentional non-compliance, as voluntary disclosure has the potential to reduce penalties.