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Executive Summaries Dec 17, 2020

New Business Immigration Measures: What Your Foreign Workers Need to Know

Every month, our Immigration and Business Mobility Team monitors major news that could impact your foreign workers. Consult the Decemberr 2020 updates on business immigration.

Recent Developments in Quarantine and teleworking for Foreign Workers: Employer Obligations

Under the Quarantine Act and the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations, an employer cannot prevent an employee from meeting the requirements of government orders, including mandatory quarantine that applies to any return to Canada, even in the case of a return from a personal vacation. In particular, the employer may not prevent the employee from complying with the mandatory quarantine under any circumstances.

During the same period, the employer must pay the worker a regular pay of at least 30 hours per week and benefits during the quarantine period, in accordance with the hourly rate set out in the Labour Market Impact Assessment or job offer, even if the employee is unable to perform his or her work. Specifically, the employee cannot have any work performed other than that related to the position held.

According to new government guidelines, foreign workers subject to a mandatory 14-day quarantine upon return to Canada should be allowed to  work remotely in accordance with the Quarantine Act and the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations, as long as the following conditions are met:

  • The position and type of work are suitable for telework while complying with the requirements of  the Quarantine Act;
  • The work and duties are consistent with what is stipulated in the employment contract or job offer; and
  • The teleworker has the necessary equipment to perform his work  from his quarantine location.

Government Support of $115M to Alleviate the Labour Shortage in Quebec

On November 26, the provincial government made an announcement that it will invest $115 million to help 20,000 workers who have lost their jobs due to the pandemic to undertake a training program to help alleviate the labour shortages of some industries. A weekly allowance of $500 will be provided to the candidates through the Programme d’aide à la relance par l’augmentation de la formation (PARAF).

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Guardian Angel” Permanent Residency Program

Beginning December 14, 2020, some asylum seekers who have worked on the front line during the pandemic will be allowed to apply for permanent residency in Canada, under certain conditions.

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Extended Canada-US Border Restriction for Non-essential Travel 

The border will remain closed until January 21, 2021, for non-essential travel to limit the risk of coronavirus spread.

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European Union Borders and the Schengen Area are Opening up

The European Union member countries and the Schengen countries (Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland) have reached an agreement on the lifting of temporary restrictions on non-essential travel to the European Union.

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Conclusion of a Privileged Trade Agreement Between Canada and United Kingdom on the eve of Brexit

The Canada-UK Trade Continuity Agreement will help maintain the transatlantic trade relationship. As Québec’s 6th largest international trading partner with a total of $4.5 billion, this is a positive agreement for the Canadian and Québec economies.

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