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Employment Protection for Foreign Nationals  


​The Employment Protection for Foreign Nationals Act, 2009 (EPFNA) applies to foreign nationals who work or are seeking work in Ontario pursuant to an immigration or foreign temporary employee program. For example, if you are working or looking for work in Ontario through the federal Temporary Foreign Worker Program, the EPFNA would likely apply to you.

As a foreign national employed in Ontario, you generally also have rights under the Employment Standards Act, 2000 (ESA). The ESA covers standards such as the minimum wage and limits on hours of work.

Prohibition against charging fees
7 (1) No person who acts as a recruiter in connection with the employment of a foreign national shall directly or indirectly charge the foreign national or such other persons as may be prescribed a fee for any service, good or benefit provided to the foreign national.  

Prohibition against collecting fees
(3) No person acting on behalf of a recruiter shall collect a fee charged by the recruiter in contravention of subsection (1).  2009, c. 32, s. 7 (3).

Prohibition against cost recovery by employers
8 (1) No employer shall directly or indirectly recover or attempt to recover from a foreign national or from such other persons as may be prescribed,

  • (a) any cost incurred by the employer in the course of arranging to become or attempting to become an employer of the foreign national; or
  • (b) any other cost that is prescribed. 


Prohibitions against taking, retaining property

Employer
9 (1) No person who employs a foreign national, and no person acting on the employer’s behalf, shall take possession of, or retain, property that the foreign national is entitled to possess.  2009, c. 32, s. 9 (1); 2014, c. 10, Sched. 1, s. 6 (1).

Recruiter
(2) No person acting as a recruiter in connection with the employment of a foreign national, and no person acting on the recruiter’s behalf, shall take possession of, or retain, property that the foreign national is entitled to possess

Example: passports, etc.
(3) For example and without limiting the generality of subsections (1) and (2), a person described in subsection (1) or (2) is not permitted to take possession of, or retain, a foreign national’s passport or work permit


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