On Sunday, November 17th, 2019, approximately 100 attendees participated in a full-day migrant workers’ forum. Held at the Ladner Community Centre, the forum was co-organized by MOSAIC and Social Development Canada as part of the Government of Canada’s Migrant Worker Support Network.
Discussions were held around various themes including:
- What do I want to learn about while working in Canada?
- How would you like to learn about your rights?
- What would you like your employer to be trained on?
- What should training look like?
The BC Employment Standards Branch presented information about migrant worker rights and responsibilities including complaint processes as well as details about wages (i.e. minimum wages, overtime and holiday pay, vacation pay, and compensation for length of service). They also shared recent amendments to the Employment Standards Act including:
- Self-help kit is no longer required (no more 15-day waiting period to file a complaint)
- Capture period for unpaid wages increased from six to 12 months
- Changing rules around child employment
- New protected unpaid leaves for domestic or sexual violence, or to attend to children suffering critical illness or injury
For the full presentation including full details of the recent changes, please click here (PDF download).
A presentation was also given on a new option for migrant workers in situations of abuse— the open work permit for vulnerable workers. The objective of this option is to enable workers with LMIA-required or employer-specific work permits to leave abusive situations quickly, transition to a new job and apply for a new work permit. This new work permit is:
- Timely: 5-day service standard
- Available to accompanying family members as well
- Open: authorization to work temporarily for almost any employer in Canada with no need for a Labour Market Impact Assessment
For more information, please visit http://gov.bc.ca/employmentstandards.
- Protecting BC’s Foreign Workers: Implementation of the Temporary Foreign Worker Protection Act
- Forum agenda
- All forum presentations
MOSAIC’s Migrant Workers Program works to educate and support migrant workers, employers and resource agencies serving both groups within the province of British Columbia. For more information, please visit mosaicbc.org/mwp.