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Saskatchewan Tables New Employment Standards and Employment Agency Legislation to protect temporary foreign workers.

Saskatchewan has tabled both new Employment Standards and Employment Agency legislation. The first is an over haul of multiple acts to streamline the regulation of employment in the province for all Saskatchewan employees. The second piece of legislation is to protect the thousands of Temporary Foreign workers that come to the Province each year. With Unemployment at 4% it has been very difficult to find new employees so the new legislation is needed. The provinces potash mines, manufacturers, farm equipment dealers and construction companies have turned to hiring temporary foreign workers. Until now Saskatchewan has had virtually no protection for these workers.
Saskatchewan is proposing registration of Recruiters and Immigration Consultants with fines of up to $100,000 and /or 1 year in prison for violating the act. With tens of thousands of new skilled workers needed in the coming years, the government of Saskatchewan hopes the Foreign Worker Recruitment and Immigration Services Act will provide protection for foreign workers from dishonest recruiters and immigration consultants.
The act had its first reading on 3rd December 2012 and will be making its way through the legislative process in early 2013.
The act will prohibit the following practices:
No foreign worker recruiter, employer or immigration consultant shall:
(a) produce or distribute false or misleading information;
(b) take possession of or retain a foreign national’s passport or other official documents or property;
(c) misrepresent employment opportunities, including misrepresentations
respecting position, duties, length of employment, wages and benefits or other
terms of employment;
(d) threaten deportation or other action for which there is no lawful cause;
(e) contact a foreign national or a foreign national’s family or friends after being requested not to do so by the foreign national;
(f) take action against or threaten to take action against a person for
participating in an investigation or proceeding by any government or law
enforcement agency or for making a complaint to any government or law
enforcement agency; or
(g) take unfair advantage of a foreign national’s trust or exploit a foreign
national’s fear or lack of experience or knowledge.
Recruitment fee
23(1) Subject to subsection (2), no person shall, directly or indirectly, charge any person other than an employer a fee or expense for recruitment services.
(2) Subsection (1) does not apply with respect to any settlement services provided pursuant to a contract for immigration services.
(3) The term of any contract that requires the payment by any person other than an employer of fees or expenses mentioned in subsection (1) is void and any fee or expense paid may be recovered by the person who paid the fees or expenses in any manner authorized by law.

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