Canada loosens foreign worker program, retailers see barrier dropped - Retail Council of Canada
Human Resources | Minimum Wage | National

Canada loosens foreign worker program, retailers see barrier dropped

April 5, 2022

Canadian retailers looking to fill labour gaps may now have greater access to the Government of Canada’s Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFW).

In a series of program adjustments announced Monday, April 4, 2022, the government confirmed it will end a policy that automatically refused Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) applications for low-wage occupations in the Food Services and Retail Trade sectors in regions with an unemployment rate of 6% or higher. Other changes to the TFW program that could impact retailers are as follows:

  • LMIAs will be valid for 18 months, an increase from nine months;
  • The maximum duration of employment for High-Wage and Global Talent Streams workers will be extended from two years to three years;
  • All employers will be allowed to hire up to 20% of their workforce through the TFW Program for low-wage positions until further notice (30% for food manufacturing and food services), an increase from the former 10% cap for many employers. Low-wage positions are defined as those paying below median hourly wages for the particular province or territory, covering a large number of retail and food service workers. See this webpage for the wage rates below which 20% TFWs would be allowed.

For questions or more information contact

Karl Littler
Senior Vice-President, Public Affairs
416- 467-3783