(Apr. 29/15) Restaurateurs who use the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP) can expect changes to cap definitions, median wage rates and the Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) application. All changes take effect on April 30.

Victory! New cap definition
Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) has listened to Restaurants Canada and our members, and is changing the TFWP cap definition. The cap will be measured by head count instead of hours – in line with our recommendation.

The cap on TFWs allowed in a work location – 30% as of June 20, 2015, 20% as of July 1, 2015, and 10% as of July 1, 2016 – will no longer be calculated using hours worked by all employees. Instead, employers will count part-time employees as 0.5 of a head count, and full-time employees as a full head count. Part-time is defined as less than 30 hours per week.

Restaurants Canada lobbied hard for this change, which should allow more foreign workers under the caps for employers with part-time help. It will also reduce the administrative burden for both employers and government.

Median wages go up
The provincial/territorial median wages will increase based on the 2014 Labour Force Survey. Get the new wage rates.

The median wage rates will be adjusted on April 30 every year, based on the previous year’s Labour Force Survey results. Unemployment rates will also be updated. These rates determine the regions eligible to submit LMIAs for low-wage/lower-skilled occupations in the restaurant industry.

Get the unemployment rates.

New LMIA application form 
A new LMIA application form (EMP5602) must be used for both high- and low-wage positions. This new form will be available online on April 30.

LMIA applications submitted using the previous forms for lower-skilled occupations (EMP5512) and higher-skilled occupations (EMP5517) will be accepted if received before 11:59 p.m. PST on April 29, 2015. Applications received after that time will not be processed.

Get more information on the changes.

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