Court sides with employer in dispute over foreign worker wage calculations

Confusion around what data to use in calculating prevailing wages
By Sergio Karas
|Canadian HR Reporter|Last Updated: 10/03/2016

The federal government’s changes to the Temporary Foreign Worker Program and Labour Market Impact Assessment have kept employers employing foreign workers busy. Between getting up to speed on the changes and changing practices to meet the new legal demands, it’s not uncommon for employers to be confused over some of the new requirements.

Employers familiar with the Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) process are aware that in order for an application to be successful when requesting authorization to hire a foreign worker, one of the criteria that must be met is the requirement to pay the prevailing wage for the position being offered. However, the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA) and Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations (IRPR) do not specifically define how that prevailing wage, which varies from region to region, must be calculated.

The confusion can increase when the officers doing the assessments aren’t consistent on some of the requirements — as seen when one employer’s application became problematic.