Permitting Precariousness: Addressing Employment Standards Challenges for Temporary Foreign Workers in British Columbia

Date created: 
Temporary foreign workers
Employment standards
British Columbia
Precarious labour
Workplace challenges
Migrant status

Since 2002, there has been an increase in the number of low-skill and low-wage temporary foreign workers in Canada. This study examines the employment standards challenges that these workers may encounter while in the Temporary Foreign Worker Program. Employment standards legislation provides the minimum requirements for workplace procedures, conditions, and transactions, such as overtime pay and hours of work. Given that the regulation of labour and employment fall under provincial jurisdiction, this study focuses on the experiences of temporary foreign workers in British Columbia and provides policy options to improve their precarious situation. This research explores a combination of provincial and federal policy changes to help mitigate temporary foreign workers’ susceptibility to employer violations, both by increasing their access to employment standards support and by reducing their dependence on employers. Policy recommendations centre on reforming the current employment standards complaint and enforcement mechanisms, increasing temporary foreign workers’ labour mobility, and separating the application process for permanent residency from employment relationships.

Document type: 
Graduating extended essay / Research project
This thesis may be printed or downloaded for non-commercial research and scholarly purposes. Copyright remains with the author.
Joshua Gordon
Arts & Social Sciences: School of Public Policy
Thesis type: 
(Project) M.P.P.