To address labor shortages, the Canadian government has introduced the Recognized Employer Pilot (REP), scheduled for launch in September.
Operated within the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP), the Recognized Employer Pilot aims to streamline processes for repeat employers with a strong record of TFWP compliance.
Qualified employers under the REP will receive extended validity of up to 36 months for Labor Market Impact Assessments (LMIAs) and benefit from a simplified LMIA application process. LMIAs are crucial labor market tests that Canadian employers undertake to recruit foreign workers under the TFWP, showcasing the lack of available domestic candidates.
These measures are expected to enable eligible employers to strategically manage their workforce requirements, minimizing the frequency of LMIA submissions over a three-year period. Recognized employers will also attain a Job Bank designation highlighting their recognized status to potential workers.
To participate in the REP, employers need a minimum of three positive LMIAs for the same occupation within the past five years. These occupations are identified based on the Canadian Occupational Projection System (COPS) data, pinpointing areas experiencing shortages. Rigorous upfront assessment will ensure the REP targets employers exemplifying optimal recruitment practices.
The REP rollout will occur in two phases. Primary agriculture employers can commence applications in September 2023, while all other employers become eligible in January 2024. The application window for the REP concludes in September 2024.
For employers qualified under the REP, a simplified LMIA application process for positions on the designated COPS list is anticipated. Additionally, participating employers will experience streamlined interactions with the Department of Employment and Social Development (ESDC) during the pilot, facilitated by simplified LMIA forms. These forms will allow employers to hire additional temporary foreign workers during the REP’s trial period.
It’s important to note that the REP forms just one facet of a broader effort by the Canadian government to enhance the TFWP. Stakeholders will have access to technical briefings provided by ESDC to gain deeper insights into the REP and its application process, with further communication from ESDC on the horizon.