May 22, 2019 – Quebec has tabled a draft regulation to establish a mandatory licence system aimed at personnel placement agencies and recruitment agencies for Temporary Foreign Workers(TFWs).
The legislation is designed to improve protection of TFWs working in the French-speaking province.
The licence, which will require payment of a $1,780 fee, will be issued by the province’s Committee on Standards, Equity, Health and Work Safety.
Quebec’s decision to introduce a licencing system follows a similar move in British Columbiaearlier in 2019.
It is intended to prevent agencies from:
- charging recruitment fees to the TFW,
- holding personal documents, or
- taking measures or agreeing on provisions to prevent or restrict the employee’s hiring by the employer beyond a period of 6 months from the start date.
For personnel placement agencies, the legislation specifies licence holders are not allowed to charge an employee for assignment to an employer, training, job interview advice or “for writing employment search tools”.
Applicants for a personnel placement agency licence must also provide security of $15,000.
For recruitment agencies, the legislation specifies licence holders are not allowed to “charge a temporary foreign worker for the worker’s recruitment, [or for] fees other than fees authorized under a Canadian government program”.
Licenced personnel placement and recruitment agencies are also required to:
- Provide the TFW with a document describing work conditions, wages and contact information of the employer and make the document available to the Quebec authorities.
- Keep for at least 6 years contracts, invoices and information on hours worked per day and per week by each TFW for each employer.
Licence applicants must submit paperwork including authorization to act on behalf of the personnel placement or recruitment agency, attestation from Revenu Quebec to show taxes are up to date, and details of penal or criminal convictions in the last five years.
Requirements include to be over 18, pay a fee of $1,780, provide the required security (personnel placement agencies only) and prove they are not under a bankruptcy order.
All personnel placement and recruitment agencies currently operating in the field will be required to apply for a licence.
Any agency denied a licence will not be allowed to continue working in the field. Unless new facts are raised, the agency cannot reapply for a licence for two years.
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