"Court sides with employer in foreign worker wage calculation dispute. Confusion over what data to use in calculating prevailing wages for an occupation in a certain region."
THE FEDERAL Government's changes to the Temporary Foreign Worker Program and Labour Market Impact Assessments have kept employers employing foreign workers busy. Between getting up to speed on the changes and changing their practices to meet the new legal demands, it's not uncommon for employers to be confused over
some of the new requirements.
It can add to the confusion when the officers doing the assessments aren't consistent on some of the requirements — such as what happened when one employer's application became problematic when different data was used to determine wage levels the employer must follow.
Employers familiar with the Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) process are aware that, in order for an application to be successful when requesting authorization to hire a foreign worker, one of the criteria that must be met is the requirement to pay the prevailing wage for the position being offered. However, the Immigration and Refugee Protection
Act (IRPA) and the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations (IRPR) do not specifically define how that prevailing
wage, which varies from region to region, must be calculated.
In Paturel International Co. v. Canada (Minister of Employment and Social Development, the Federal Court decided that the prevailing wage in the circumstances of that case had been set too high and the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP) officer committed a reviewable error by relying purely on data relating to median wages in the geographical area where the employer was located, which were not representative of the wages paid by employers in the region.
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