December, 1, 2020
By Victor Ing, Asian Pacific Post
Beginning on December 15, 2020, BC employers looking to hire foreign workers through the Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) stream or caregivers through federal the Home Child Care Provider Pilot or Home Support Worker Pilot will need to register online with the provincial government to receive a “certificate of registration”. Although there is no charge to obtain a certificate of registration, BC employers will no longer be able to access these immigration programs to hire foreign workers if they have not obtained one.
The concept for the online employer registry was originally introduced in 2018 under BC’s Temporary Foreign Worker Protection Act (TFWPA), which aims to create more transparency and protections for foreign workers who accept job offers in BC. According to BC’s Ministry of Labour, an estimated 5,000 employers in British Columbia are expected to obtain certificates of registration in order to hire foreign workers. By creating and enforcing a registration requirement, the BC government will now be made aware which BC employers are hiring foreign nationals, including who the Directors of these companies are, and will also know if local employers are using the services of recruiters and the terms of their agreement.
Furthermore, the TFWPA confers significant powers on the BC government to investigate workplace abuses and unfair practices, including situations where foreign workers are misled about their working conditions and asked to work for less pay, work longer hours, or to perform different duties. The TFWPA also provides for sanctions against employers who make threats of deportation or similar complaints to government agencies designed to silence foreign workers. Under the TFWPA, employers who engage in these practices can be penalized and have their certificates of registration revoked.