Everyone agrees: No one should pay to work

The Canada Council for Refugees, Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, Metcalf Foundation and even the Law Commission of Ontario agree: Migrant workers need protection from recruiters. Current laws must be expanded and fully implemented.

Only the Ontario Ministry of Labour remains out of step. Not enough has been done to stop recruiter exploitation of migrant workers. We know Minister Yasir Naqvi knows of these demands, the question is when will he act?

“The Employment Protection for Foreign Nationals Act (EPFNA) currently applies only to workers in the Live-in Caregiver Program, but Ontario could easily extend its coverage to all other migrant workers through regulatory change. The effectiveness of EPFNA and of other labour legislation depends on adequately resourced and proactive enforcement, which are absent at this time.”

Canada Council for Refugees, Migrant Worker Report Cards, May 2013

 “The Ontario government (should) extend the Employment Protection for Foreign Nationals Act to all temporary migrant workers in Ontario.”

Vulnerable Workers and Precarious Work, Law Commission of Ontario, April 2013

“Target employers who violate employment standards, expand proactive enforcement of the Employment Standards Act, and update the Act to ensure protection for all workers, including temp agency workers. Ontario should also ban recruitment fees for temporary migrant workers and act immediately to ensure they’re equally protected as other Ontario workers.”

Trish Hennessy and Jim Stanford, “More Harm Than Good”, Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, March 2013

“Legislation must be extended to ensure that all migrant workers have effective protection against the charging of recruitment fees and to ensure that employers will be jointly and severally liable for recruitment fees that have been collected by private recruiters. Ontario should adopt a proactive system of employer registration,  recruiter licensing (including the mandatory provision of an irrevocable  letter of credit or deposit), mandatory filing of information about recruitment and employment contracts, and proactive government  inspection and investigation in line with the best practices adopted  under Manitoba’s Worker Recruitment and Protection Act and Regulations. The limitation period for filing complaints about improper recruitment fees should be extended to reflect the current four-year period which live-in caregivers have to complete their qualifying work to apply for permanent residence. Workers under the SAWP should be entitled to job security, including seniority and a right to recall.”

 Fay Faraday, “Made in Canada”, Metcalf Foundation, September 2012