Skip to main content

3 Things Businesses Need to Know about the Temporary Foreign Worker Protection Act

David M. Brown

Co-Founder + Partner
May 10, 2023

The Act

The British Columbia Temporary Foreign Worker Protection Act (TFWPA) is a unique and important piece of legislation that seeks to protect the rights and welfare of temporary foreign workers (TFWs). As a business owner in British Columbia, it’s important to understand the implications of this law on your operations if you employ foreign workers. In this article, we discuss three key things businesses need to know about the TFWPA.

Compliance

Firstly, compliance is mandatory for businesses employing TFWs. If you’re a business owner who employs TFWs, you must register with the provincial government and obtain a certificate of registration. This process involves demonstrating compliance with various requirements, such as paying TFWs wages and benefits that are equal to or greater than those of Canadian citizens and permanent residents performing similar work. Failure to comply with the TFWPA can result in penalties, including fines and even imprisonment.

Worker Rights

Secondly, although TFWs are recognized as being vulnerable to abuse and exploitation, they have rights under the law. The TFWPA establishes protections for foreign workers, including the right to recover recruitment fees and protection from reprisals for raising concerns about their working conditions. As a business owner, it’s important to ensure that your TFWs are aware of their rights under this law and that you’re taking steps to uphold those rights.

Enforcement

Lastly, the TFWPA is enforced by the Employment Standards Branch (ESB) of the Ministry of Labour. The ESB is responsible for investigating complaints and ensuring compliance with the TFWPA and the Employment Standards Act. If a complaint is received regarding a violation of the TFWPA, the ESB will investigate the complaint and take appropriate enforcement action, which may include issuing penalties or prosecuting offenders.

Businesses in British Columbia that employ temporary foreign workers need to be aware of the Temporary Foreign Worker Protection Act and its requirements. Compliance with the law is mandatory, and failure to comply can result in serious consequences. However, by understanding the law’s requirements and protections, businesses can help to ensure a fair and ethical workplace for all employees, including TFWs.

By prioritizing open communication, clear policies and procedures, and a commitment to upholding the rights of TFWs, businesses can create a positive and respectful work environment for all workers.

Contact us now to discuss how we can be of assistance with your staffing needs!