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.
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Senior Vice-President, Public Affairs