To support agricultural producers during the COVID-19 crisis, the federal government will provide $50 million in funding to farmers, fish harvesters and other food production and processing employers that hire temporary foreign workers.
You might be wondering:
- How do I access the funding?
- What are the eligibility requirements?
While we don’t have those details yet, FBC is continually monitoring government announcements and tracking updates for more information, clarification or interpretation that will help you. We’ll provide you with more information as soon as it’s available.
In the meantime, here are the most recent details released by the government.
What Are the New Measures to The Temporary Foreign Worker Program?
The new funding from the government is meant to offset the cost of paying temporary foreign workers who must observe a 14-day quarantine period. Temporary foreign workers are exempt from the travel ban to prevent a disruption to the food supply chain.
Eligible employers will receive $1,500 for each temporary foreign worker, which is conditional on employers adhering to mandatory isolation protocols.
To reduce the administrative burden for employers, the government is easing some requirements for the Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA).
Most employers need an LMIA before they can hire a temporary foreign worker. An LMIA proves there is a need for talent from abroad and no Canadians workers are available to do the job.
What Are the Updates to The LMIA Applications?
The following measures are being applied to all existing LMIA applications under review, as well as to new applications as they are received:
- Employers are not required to submit minor administrative changes to the LMIA that would not change the terms and conditions.
- Recruitment requirements for LMIAs in key occupations related to the agriculture and agri-food sectors are being waived until October 31, 2020.
- LMIAs in key occupations related to the agriculture and agri-food sectors will be prioritized for processing.
- The maximum duration of employment under LMIAs is increased from 1 to 2 years for employers of workers in the low-wage stream as part of a three-year pilot.
- Employers applying under the Agricultural stream or Seasonal Agricultural Worker Program can submit a previously valid Housing Inspection Report (HIR), and
- The name change processes for employers wishing to change the name of already identified foreign worker, for reasons related to COVID-19, has been expedited.
The government says if an employer cannot submit a valid HIR due to COVID-19, they must try to provide a satisfactory HIR obtained within the previous 3 years.
They must also provide a valid HIR to ESDC within the duration of the work permit issued by that LMIA.
If an employer cannot provide a satisfactory HIR obtained in the previous 3 years, an LMIA can be issued if photos of the accommodation are provided and the employer agrees to submit an updated HIR to ESDC within the duration of the work permit issued by that LMIA.
Check the Employment and Social Development Canada website for updates.
If you’d like to learn more about this or other COVID-19 programs for Canadian businesses, please call us at 1-800-265-1002 or email [email protected] Unlimited consultation related to tax matters is a key benefit of FBC Membership. You can also book an appointment online.
For the latest information, advice and insights for small business owners, visit our COVID-19 Resource Centre.
Disclaimer: The material above is provided for educational and informational purposes only.