Legislation better protects temporary foreign workers from exploitation
To watch the announcement from Harry Bains, BC's Minister of Labour, click below (will open in new window).
- requiring foreign worker recruiters to be licensed, and employers who recruit and hire temporary foreign workers to be registered.
- establishing criteria for issuing, refusing, suspending or cancelling a licence or registration.
- imposing tougher penalties for recruiters and employers who violate the legislation, including not just loss of licence or registration but financial penalties and possible jail time.
- allowing government to recover, and return to workers, any fees charged illegally by recruiters.
- creating two registries, one for foreign worker recruiters and one for employers, to hold both accountable for their actions and to improve government response to health, housing or other violations of B.C. laws. The registration will be a cost-free and simple online process for employers.
- In 2017, there were 47,620 work permits issued for foreign workers destined for B.C. — 16,865 under the Temporary Foreign Worker Program and 30,755 under the International Mobility Program.
- Agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting sectors account for nearly half of the Temporary Foreign Worker Program in B.C., with around 9,000 workers.
- The next largest sector is information and cultural industries, which accounts for 9%, or approximately 1,700 workers. This sector includes tech and film related occupations.
- The third largest sector is accommodation and food services (8%), followed by construction (6%) and manufacturing (5%).
- Under the Temporary Foreign Worker Program, 83% of work permit holders are in the Lower Mainland region, 5% are in the Thompson Okanagan region and 4% are in the Vancouver Island and coast region.
Read the original press release here: https://archive.news.gov.bc.ca/releases/news_releases_2017-2021/2018LBR0017-002047.htm
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