Quebec updates salary requirements for hiring temporary foreign workers

Alexandra Miekus
Published: November 26, 2020

Quebec employers seeking to hire temporary foreign workers will have to refer to a new salary guide, the province's Ministère de l'Immigration de la Francisation et de l'Intégration has announced.

The change will come into effect on December 1. Quebec employers will have to refer to the 2020 edition of the salary guide (Édition 2020 du Guide des salaires par professions présentés par intervalle, selon les quartiles au Québec) instead of the 2018 edition currently in use.

Furthermore, the Government of Quebec has indicated that “offers of temporary employment received by the Ministry on or after that date may be refused if the salary offered for the job is based on the 2018 edition of the Guide des salaires.” This means that the changes could apply retroactively to applications for work authorization that were submitted prior to December 1, 2020, and are still in process once the changes take effect on that date.

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When the immigration ministry receives a request for a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA), it verifies whether the salary offered to the temporary foreign worker is equivalent to the salary of a Quebec worker in the same job category and for a corresponding level of experience.

If the employment offered by the employer is covered by a collective agreement or decree, the salary will have to comply with the provisions of that agreement or decree.

If the job offered is not covered by a collective agreement or a decree, the immigration ministry determines the wage by referring to Emploi-Québec’s Guide des salaires par professions présentés par intervalles selon les quartiles au Québec.  The hourly wage to be applied for a particular occupation is established using three categories and determined according to the number of years of work experience required by the employer.

If no salary information is available in the Guide, the immigration ministry will refer to federal wage information available on Canada’s Job Bank.

When applying for work authorization, the salary offered must be based on guaranteed wages only, which means that the payment of overtime, tips, indemnities, profit-sharing, bonuses, commissions and any other form of remuneration are not included in the calculation. The occupation of the temporary foreign worker is determined based on the National Occupational Classification (NOC) 2016 for all categories of positions in the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP). The NOC is a classification system officially recognized across Canada for the occupations that make up the Canadian labour market.

The skill level and skill type are the two main criteria used to classify occupations in the NOC.

Many Quebec companies and organizations hire foreign workers on a temporary basis. The reason these workers are brought to the province is because of a labour shortage in certain sectors of activity.

Determining the current salary is crucial to the immigration procedure to be followed to obtain a temporary work permit in Quebec.

It is important to remember that the process of hiring temporary workers in Quebec also involves several steps and requires several authorizations such as a favourable LMIA and a Quebec Acceptance Certificate (CAQ).

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Contact to speak with a lawyer about Canadian work permit applications.

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