The Recognized Employer Pilot (REP) is Canada’s upcoming plan to address labor shortages in Canada. Set to launch in September 2023, the pilot program is meant to alleviate administrative burdens for employers that currently meet the requirements for the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP). The REP is a 3-year pilot project aimed at offering a streamlined approach for employers who:
- Regularly access the TFWP to fill in-demand positions on the REP occupations list, and
- Meet the highest standards for working and living conditions, and worker protection
Employers recognized under this program will benefit from Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) validity periods of up to 36 months and access to a simplified LMIA application. This validity period extends from the currently available 18-months maximum.
To become an eligible employer, the following must be met: (1) a minimum of three positive LMIAs must be submitted over the past five years for the same occupation where a shortage has been reported in the Canadian Occupational Projection System (COPS); (2) employers undergo a rigorous and upfront assessment process based on their history using the TFWP; and (3) employers would undertake the LMIA test to prove that the workers they are seeking for the job are not available in Canada, thus demonstrating the need for a foreign worker.
The pilot program will be rolled out in two phases, the first to begin in September 2023 for primary agriculture employers. Phase one includes occupations for livestock laborers, harvesting laborers, specialized livestock workers and farm machinery operators, and nursery and greenhouse laborers. The second phase will be held for all remaining employers and will begin in January 2024. The Phase Two occupations list is more extensive and includes occupations from other sectors, including healthcare, food service, construction, trades, and manufacturing.
Note that Global Talent Stream (GTS) occupations from the current labor market conditions are not included under the REP programs. Employers using the GTS LMIA program already benefit from expedited LMIA processing provided through that program.
For more information on this alert, please reach out to the T&S Americas team at AMERICAS@tandslaw.com.