Legislative Review Updates

Legislative Review Committee's submission to The Standing Committee on Justice Regarding Bill 50 - The Protection for Temporary Help Workers Act

Posted: June 12, 2014

For a copy of the Legislative Review Committee's submission to the Standing Committee on Justice regarding Bill 50 - The Protection for Temporary Help Workers Act (Worker Recruitment and Protection Act and Employment Standards Code Amended), click here.


Legislation Requiring Defibrillators in Public Buildings Now in Effect

Posted: April 17, 2014
 
Prepared by: Legislative Review Committee, HRMAM

As of January 31, 2014, automated external defibrillators (or "AEDs" as they are commonly known) are required in designated public buildings in Manitoba pursuant to The Defibrillator Public Access Act (the "Act"). Manitoba is the first province in Canada to develop legislation requiring AEDs to be available on certain sites.

While some of the premises designated under the Act are quite specific (such as the MTS Centre, the Manitoba Museum and the Winnipeg Convention Centre), there are some premises that may be designated based on the nature of the activities performed there, the number of people using the premises for a particular activity, or the number of hours the activity is performed at the premises (i.e., some fitness clubs and gyms). The legislation also sets out specific details with respect to location of the AED at a premises, signage, and registration with the Heart and Stroke Foundation.

For the full text of the Act, please click here. For further information on the Act and the list of designated public spaces, please click here and here.

 

Amendments to the federal Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations 

Posted: January 30, 2014

Prepared by: Legislative Review Committee, HRMAM

 

On December 31, 2013, amendments to the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations (SOR/2002-227) (the "Regulations") came into effect. These amendments:

  1. Introduced new compliance tests and prerequisites that employers must meet before hiring temporary foreign workers; and
  2. Gave government officers expanded powers to verify compliance with the Regulations, including the power to conduct warrantless searches on employer premises.

A full text of the amending regulations can be accessed here: Regulations Amending the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations.

In June 2013, HRMAM sent a submission on these amendments to Citizenship and Immigration Canada. Summaries of HRMAM's June submission (which can be found here) and the final draft of the amending regulations are provided in the chart below.

 

HRMAM's June Submission The Government of Canada's Final Amending Regulations
HRMAM indicated its support for the requirement that employers should comply with federal and provincial laws. However, HRMAM called for clear rules to establish which violations of provincial and territorial laws could result in immigration enforcement action. HRMAM's concern was whether minor violations of the law would cause immigration enforcement. In the regulatory impact statement, the government acknowledged that employer groups requested clarification of certain terms and provisions including the triggers for government inspections. The government indicated that it is working to develop clear policies and guidance materials so that these changes will be well-understood by all stakeholders. However, none appeared in the final amending regulations. The government also indicated that during the LMO process, employers have the opportunity to submit new information that may affect the application.
HRMAM opposed the government's proposal that powers of investigation allow officers to conduct warrantless searches at the employer's premises. HRMAM's position was that warrants should be required for any intrusive search. The final amending regulations maintained the power to execute warrantless searches. However, the government clarified that its intent is that any search is only for the purpose of verifying compliance with the conditions imposed on the employer of a temporary foreign worker. The government also indicated that, in most cases, employers will be given 48 hours' notice of an inspection unless such notice would compromise the inspection.
HRMAM expressed concern that the government might interpret too strictly the requirement that employers of temporary foreign workers be "actively engaged" in the business in respect of which the offer of employment was made. Because of the diverse types of occupations being employed by various companies, HRMAM encourage the government not to adopt too strict a standard for "actively engaged". The government did not directly comment or make changes to their draft regulations.
HRMAM advocated that the government not change the "substantially the same" provisions, which allowed employers to vary the terms and conditions of employment or wages provided to temporary foreign workers provided that they remained "substantially the same" as what was originally represented in the immigration process. The government's proposal was that wages, working conditions and employment must remain "substantially the same" but could not result in wages, working conditions and employment that were "less favourable". The government did not directly comment or make changes to their draft regulations.
HRMAM took the position that it was not necessary to require employers to make reasonable efforts to provide a workplace that is free of abuse, as there are provincial laws that cover these types of cases. The government did not directly comment or make changes to their draft regulations.
HRMAM took the position that amendments requiring that employers of temporary foreign workers prove job creation or retention, the transfer of skills and knowledge to Canadian permanent residents, and the hiring or training of Canadian citizens not be an absolute requirement, but that employers can be found to be compliant with these conditions as long as they make "reasonable efforts" to live up to these types of commitments. The government did not directly comment or make changes to their draft regulations.

 

In addition to introducing changes to the Regulations, Citizenship and Immigration Canada also introduced Ministerial Instructions impacting the hiring of temporary foreign workers. These Ministerial Instructions set out the following:

1. When work permit processing can be suspended;

2. When an issued work permit can be revoked;

3. When labour market opinions can be revoked or suspended; or 

4. When Service Canada can refuse to process an LMO application.

The full text of these MInisterial Instructions can be found here: Ministerial Instructions Respecting Labour Market Opinions and Ministerial Instructions Respecting the Revocation of Work Permits.

Chartered Professionals in Human Resources Manitoba (CPHR Manitoba)
1810-275 Portage Avenue / Winnipeg, Manitoba / R3B 2B3
tel. 204.943.2836 / fax. 204.943.1109 / email. hello@cphrmb.ca

For additional information please visit: CPHR.CA

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