Manitoba boosts protection for foreign workers

New recruitment legislation requires registration, licensing
By Sarah Dobson
|Canadian HR Reporter|Last Updated: 05/03/2009

Manitoba’s new legislation governing the recruitment of foreign workers is a “bold step” and a “much better mousetrap” that should be adopted across the country, according to the chair of a national advocacy group for immigrants.

“It’s basically equalizing the playing field,” said Imran Qayyum, chair of the Toronto-based Canadian Migration Institute. “The biggest problem has been people working outside the system. What Manitoba has done, in essence, is shut that door down.”

The Worker Recruitment and Protection Act came into effect April 1 and requires all employers keen to recruit temporary foreign workers to register with the government’s employment standards division and include proof of this registration with applications for a Labour Market Opinion to Human Resources and Skills Development Canada. Recruiters and employers will not be allowed to receive or collect fees from workers they assist in finding employment and must submit detailed records about the place of employment, up-to-date contact information and the workers’ duties and rate of pay.