Service Canada is now incorporating in the scope of its audit whether you facilitate your new foreign employees’ self-isolation obligations.
Since March 25, 2020, it is mandatory for all persons who enter Canada to self-isolate for 14 days this, of course, encompasses new foreign workers.
Employers of temporary foreign workers are responsible for facilitating their employees’ self-isolation.
Employers required to provide housing under program policy must ensure it meets dedicated minimum standards:
Providing adequate space in accommodations to allow for social distancing (remain 2 meters apart at all times);
ensuring those who are in self-isolation are separated from other individuals who are not in self-isolation;
keeping self-isolated workers away from older adults and those with medical conditions who are at risk of developing serious illness; and,
providing materials that enable workers to practice adequate sanitation (i.e. soap).
YOUR NEW OBLIGATIONS
You must immediately inform Service Canada when your employee(s) arrive at your work location by sending an email message to: ESDC.ISB.QUARANTINE-QUARANTAINE.DGSI.EDSC@servicecanada.gc.ca
Your email must contain the following information:
- Subject: TFW arrival to (name of Business)
- Date and time of arrival of employee(s) to your work location, and their names.
- Contact information for the TFW(s), if available.
- Your contact information including mailing address. If applicable, please include a secondary contact information.
During the worker’s initial 14-day quarantine or isolation period, you must ensure that:
- You do not do anything to prevent the worker’s compliance with orders or regulations under the Quarantine Act/Emergencies Act;
- Workers are paid wages, at least 30 hours per week, based on the hourly wage indicated on their LMIA/offer of employment, starting on the day they arrive.
If you provide accommodations, you must also ensure that:
- Workers are isolated separately from other workers who are not isolating or under quarantine;
- Accommodation for workers in quarantine at the same time, must enable the workers to remain at least 2 metres away from others;
- Cleaning products for the purpose of cleaning and disinfecting the accommodations regularly are provided to workers who are in isolation or quarantine; and
- Workers are able to comply with provincial / territorial public health orders under the Quarantine Act/Emergencies Act.
They may happen during the quarantine period (i.e. during the 14 days following the foreign worker’s arrival).
They will be conducted remotely/virtually and must be completed within a shortened timeframe.
You will have 48 hours following the call from the Service Canada Investigator to provide the requested documentation by email or through an online portal.
If you do not respond you will receive a Notice of Preliminary Finding by email and registered mail. You will only have five (5) days to respond.
If your response is not received within this timeframe, you will be subject to penalties.
CONTENT OF THE INSPECTIONS
As the employer, you may be asked to provide one or more of the following:
- Proof of wages paid (i.e. pay stubs) (see above for minimum salary to be paid during quarantine);
- Photos of accommodations respecting social distancing space if more than one worker is in quarantine at the same time (i.e. sleeping quarters with beds 2 metres apart using tape measure, dining areas with chairs 2 metres apart using tape measure, and kitchen and washroom facilities);
- Photos of private isolation space if it is deemed necessary for the worker to be in separate accommodations; and
- Proof of adequate supply of sanitation products for the worker to use (paper towels, household cleaning and disinfecting products, dish soap, laundry soap, sanitizers, etc.).
Service Canada may ask for a virtual tour of the accommodations and/or facilities to verify these requirements. Some workers may be contacted for interviews conducted by phone or video conference.
Penalties may include one or more of the following:
- Administrative monetary penalties ranging from $1,000 to $100,000 per violation, up to a maximum of $1 million over one year;
- A ban of one, two, five or ten years, or permanent bans for the most serious violations;
- The publication of your business name and address on a public website with details of the violation(s) and/or consequence(s); and/or
- The revocation of previously-issued LMIAs.
As a global immigration solutions provider, we are keeping a close watch on any processing updates. Should you have specific questions about your case or how those new requirements may impact you, please do not hesitate reach out to us.