The Government of Quebec has announced new regulations to help temporary foreign workers in the Canadian province. The new regulations are aimed at protecting foreign workers from the questionable practices of recruiters and placement agencies.
The new regulations require these recruitment agencies and placement agents to have a license. Agencies that are already in operation must apply for the provincial commission which takes care of the labor standards in the province. They will have to apply to the CNESST for the permit between January 1 and February 14, 2020 if they must legally continue their business.
The CNESST will keep an eye on the actions of recruiters and employers to ensure that they comply with regulations. It will also manage the permit system.
According to Jean Boulet, Minister of Labor, Employment and Social Solidarity, the new rules will ensure agency workers and temporary foreign workers have access to fair working conditions. It aims to promote a positive working experience.
If the agency fails to follow the new rules and conditions, its license could be revoked. The conditions include:
Apart from this, the recruitment agencies and the client companies will be jointly responsible for the temporary foreign workers.
Under the new rules, agencies will have to pay a security deposit which will be used as compensation pay for workers in case, they fail to pay them their dues under the Labor Standards Act of Quebec.
From January 2020, recruitment agencies cannot pay a lower salary to temporary workers than that paid to regular employees of the client company if they are doing similar kind of tasks.
Employers will have to determine the wages based on the worker’s experience and skills and any disparity based on the employment status will not be accepted.
The new measures are expected to regulate the conduct of employers. They cannot charge any other fees apart from the amount authorized under the Canadian government program. They cannot keep any personal property such as passports or official documents of the temporary workers.
Employers should also provide details of the arrival and departures dates of temporary foreign workers to the CNESST.
These measures according to Boulet are aimed at curbing unlawful practices of agencies and improving the working conditions of temporary foreign workers.
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