The Government of Manitoba has recently taken steps to strengthen and improve protections for temporary foreign workers. On April 1, 2009, the Worker Recruitment and Protection Act (WRAPA) and its regulations came into effect. WRAPA imposes new registration and licensing requirements on employers and third-party recruiters, and prohibits the collection of fees in relation to temporary foreign worker recruitment.
New Requirements for Employers
Employers within the province are now required to obtain a Certificate of Registration from the Government of Manitoba’s Employment Standards Division. Registration may be completed online. An employer must submit its Certificate of Registration along with its Application for a Labour Market Opinion (LMO) in order for the application to be processed. A Certificate of Registration is not determinative of a positive or neutral LMO.
New Requirements for Third-Party Recruiters
Third parties who assist temporary foreign workers in gaining employment or assist employers in the recruitment of foreign workers must obtain a licence from the Government of Manitoba’s Employment Standards Division. Exemptions are made for government agencies and municipalities, individuals finding employees for their employers, and individuals who receive no fee to find employment for their family member. Third-party licences must be renewed annually. Application forms are available online.
Employer and Third-Party Liability for Fee Collection
WRAPA prohibits employers and third parties from charging fees to temporary foreign workers seeking or finding work. Employers are liable for fees directly collected and fees indirectly collected through an unlicensed third-party recruiter. Licensed third parties are also liable for fees collected.