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Policies to Streamline the Temporary Foreign Worker Program: What does the 10% to 20% increase mean?

Within three months, Quebec has successively shifted three gears in its commitment to come to the rescue of Quebec businesses. As a reminder, there was the historic Quebec-Ottawa agreement in August for the easing of temporary foreign worker (TFW) and international mobility programs. Then at the end of October, the announcement of the ambitious immigration plan for 2022 that provides for the admission of more than 70,000 new arrivals. And, more recently at the beginning of November, the Quebec consensus that complements the Quebec-Ottawa agreement. Each of these initiatives is appreciated, although the reality of business leads employers to ask policy makers to do better.


Despite this good news, employers are still waiting for concrete action to help them overcome the labor shortage that is undermining their operations. A group of half a dozen associations called on the provincial and federal governments to take appropriate measures to reduce delays in temporary and even permanent immigration to promote labor availability.


Minister Jean Boulet reported by the Journal du Québec underlines that the labor shortage problem has been structural since 2019 and risks continuing until 2030. “…Between 2019 and 2028, economists and demographers anticipate roughly 1.4 million vacancies“, said the minister. He explained that this is due to the decrease of 60.4% of the working population. In order to address the growing shortage, he believes that employers too must take responsibility by investing in automation, robotics and digitization.




This is how employers should calculate the 20% TFW


In the Quebec consensus, it is clear to Quebec employers that there is now a list of 71 low-wage occupations for which the number of temporary foreign workers (TFWs) has been removed and the process simplified. What remains unclear for some, however, is the understanding of the 20% of foreign workers. Indeed, companies that have several factories or workplaces wonder whether the 20% is to be respected for the size of the company or exclusively by workplace.


Information we gathered from the communications department of the office of the Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion as well as from the Media Relations Office: “20% of TET will be calculated in relation to each workplace”. In other words, a company that has ten factories in or outside Quebec will determine the number of temporary foreign workers it is authorized to accommodate for each factory or workplace.


Our firm has once again shown you all the energy it puts into bringing you credible information from official sources. We remain available to help you better understand this principle. We are also ready and open to assist you in putting all the chances on your side to recruit as many TFWs as possible in order to best fill the labor shortage that is currently handicapping you.

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