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Big Win For the Food Service Industry


Recognized Employer Pilot for Temporary Foreign Workers Announced
Today, Employment and Social Development Canada announced it was “cutting red tape for employers who protect temporary foreign workers” by launching the Recognized Employer Pilot (REP) under the Temporary Foreign Worker (TFW) program. The REP is a three-year pilot program that attempts to reduce the administrative burden for repeat employers who demonstrate a history of complying with program requirements.  

Restaurants Canada’s lobbying efforts for this program, together with members and industry partners, began several years ago with some early success. In the 2022 federal budget, the government allocated $29.3 million over three years to introduce a Trusted Employer Model.  Since then, and as recently as July of this year, we asked the government to expedite the program’s implementation. Restaurants Canada thanks and congratulates the Honourable Randy Boissonnault, The Honourable Carla Qualtrough, The Honourable Marc Miller, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship and his predecessor Honourable Sean Fraser for their willingness to listen and support our industry’s labour needs.  

“This program rewards employers who are following best practices when it comes to the employment of TFWs,” said, RC President and CEO, Kelly Higginson. “This program will reduce costs and ease access to labour at a time when the industry needs it the most.”

Program Overview  

Under the REP, eligible employers will:  

  • Gain access to Labour Market Impact Assessments (LMIAs) that are valid for up to 36 months (as opposed to the previous 18 months).
  • Benefit from a simplified LMIA application should they need to hire additional workers in the same occupation during the pilot.
  • Benefit from a Job Bank designation showing their recognized status to prospective workers.

To participate, employers must have a minimum of three positive LMIAs for the same occupation over the past 5 years from a list of designated in-shortage occupations

Employers will then be subject to a more rigorous upfront assessment process based on their history & track record to ensure the REP targets employers with the best recruitment practices.   


  • Primary agriculture employers will be able to apply starting in September 2023.  
  • All other employers are eligible to apply in January 2024.  

Employer applications for the program will close in September 2024.