Federal Enforcement of Migrant Workers’ Labour Rights in Canada: A Research Report

26 Pages Posted: 25 Jun 2020

See all articles by Sarah Marsden

Sarah Marsden

Thompson Rivers University Faculty of Law

Eric Tucker

York University - Osgoode Hall Law School; Cleveland State University, Cleveland-Marshall College of Law

Leah F. Vosko

York University - Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies

Date Written: May 15, 2020

Abstract

Although Canada’s migrant labour program is seen by some as a model of best practices, rights shortfalls and exploitation of workers are well documented. Through migration policy, federal authorities determine who can hire migrant workers, and the conditions under which they are employed, through the provision of work permits. Despite its authority over work permits, the federal government has historically had little to do with the regulation of working conditions. In 2015, the federal government introduced a new regulatory enforcement system - unique internationally for its attempt to enforce migrants’ workplace rights through federal migration policy - under which employers must comply with contractual employment terms, uphold provincial workplace standards, and make efforts to maintain a workplace free of abuse. Drawing on enforcement data, and frontline law and policy documents, we critically assess the new enforcement system, concluding that it holds both promise and peril for migrant workers.

Keywords: 'Migrant Workers', 'Labour Rights', Enforcement, Canada

JEL Classification: J43, J68, J83, J88, K31, K37

Suggested Citation

Marsden, Sarah and Tucker, Eric and Vosko, Leah F., Federal Enforcement of Migrant Workers’ Labour Rights in Canada: A Research Report (May 15, 2020). Osgoode Legal Studies Research Paper Forthcoming, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3601870 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3601870

Sarah Marsden

Thompson Rivers University Faculty of Law

Kamloops, British Columbia
Canada

Eric Tucker (Contact Author)

York University - Osgoode Hall Law School ( email )

4700 Keele Street
Toronto, Ontario M3J 1P3
Canada
416 736-5578 (Phone)
416 636-5736 (Fax)

Cleveland State University, Cleveland-Marshall College of Law ( email )

2121 Euclid Avenue, LB 138
Cleveland, OH 44115-2214
United States

Leah F. Vosko

York University - Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies ( email )

Toronto, Ontario M3J 1P3
Canada

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