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Recruiting foreign workers: Your obligations as employer

There are many programs in Quebec as well as in the federal government that allow employers facing a labor shortage to recruit foreigners, such as the International Mobility Program (IMP) that we featured in one of our previous articles. Regardless of the program or category of work permit chosen, it requires the employer to assume a number of responsibilities towards the employee hired.


The employer must also ensure good working conditions abroad, in particular by respecting the terms of the employment contract (type of job, tasks, remuneration, health insurance and benefits). He also makes sure that the employee performs the duties assigned to him without having to experience any form of violence. To check compliance with all the commitments to which the employer is bound, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) through its agents, sporadically organizes inspection visits.


What you need to know about IRCC inspection missions


On a regular basis, IRCC organizes inspection missions with randomly selected companies. It also does so when they have information about non-compliance of the conditions for hiring foreign workers. The latter, however, has nothing to fear if he is in good standing. The inspection will consist of discussions with the employer or its authorized representative, if applicable. The agent is also authorized, as part of these inspections, to consult any paper or digital document and even to make a copy. If he feels that he needs help to complete this task, a person of his choice will accompany him.


Usually inspections are announced to the employer before the inspector makes the trip to the company. The inspection notice often specifies what documents the employer must prepare in advance. It is often:

  • Employment contract;
  • Description of tasks;
  • Attendance sheets and free payroll;
  • Business operating permit or license;
  • Commercial rental agreements;
  • Policy against violence or harassment;
  • Code of conduct for employees;
  • Proof of health and accident insurance at work;
  • Registration certificate and your provincial or territorial employer and recruiter license.


It shall be noted that the employer must succeed in efficiently keeping all documents related to the hiring of a foreign worker for six (6) years.


Despite the good intention to take the necessary precautions, some employers for lack of time and adequate control of the many responsibilities manage to violate the provisions. These fatal errors, when they occur, have serious consequences: financial penalty, prohibition to use the program for a period of up to 10 years depending on the seriousness of the fault committed… These errors can cause considerable constraints to Canadian employers in default. To find out more about your obligations, contact us now.

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