In a two-year measure designed to ease its labour shortage crisis, Canada is to allow the spouses of temporary workers to qualify for a work permit.
In a phased approach starting in January, the spouses and working age children of temporary workers will be able to work in Canada.
Immigration Minister Sean Fraser said the move would “help employers find the workers they need to fill their labour gaps by expanding work permits to family members at all skill levels”.
“Our government is going to continue helping employers overcome labour shortages, while also supporting the well-being of workers and uniting their families,” he said.
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Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) says the new measure will see the families of 200,000 temporary workers become eligible to work in Canada.
The phase approached will begin with those with work permits through the high-wage stream of the Temporary Foreign Worker Program and the International Mobility Program in January.
Phases two and three, including first the low-wage stream of the TFWP and then agricultural workers, will be rolled out in due course.
“This temporary measure aims to improve the emotional well-being, physical health and financial stability of workers by keeping families together,” IRCC said.
“As a result, it is expected that the worker will better integrate into their overall work environment and community.”
Canada Family Work Permits: Three Phases
Family members of workers coming to Canada through the high-wage stream of the Temporary Foreign Worker Program or the International Mobility Program will be eligible to apply for an open work permit in January 2023.
The aim of phase two is to expand the measure to the family members of workers from the low-wage stream of the TFWP, following consultations.
After consultation with agricultural partners and stakeholders to assess operational feasibility, phase three is to see the measure expanded to family members of agricultural workers.
“Labour is the number one challenge facing Canada’s tourism sector as we position ourselves for post-pandemic growth,” said Randy Boissonnault, Minister of Tourism.
Canada issued over 645,000 work permits between January and October this year – nearly four times the 163,000 issued over the same period last year.
Hybrid Work Arrangements Becoming Popular In Canada
A Statistics Canada report found hybrid work arrangements grew in popularity in November with almost one in 10 Canadian workers now opting to work from home at least part of the time and spend the rest of the week working in another location.
“The proportion of workers who have hybrid arrangements – that is, who usually work both at home and in a location other than home – rose by 0.4 percentage points to 9.4 per cent in November, continuing a gradual upward trend since the beginning of 2022,” the statistics agency said in its latest Labour Force Survey.
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It’s particularly significant that the rise in hybrid work arrangements is not coming at the expense of work-from-home situations. In the post-COVID-19 pandemic reality, almost one in six Canadian workers is working from home.
“The proportion of workers who usually work exclusively at home, 15.6 per cent, was little changed in November,” states Statistics Canada.
Most of the new Canada jobs are full-time.
“Since November 2021, when full-time employment first surpassed its pre-COVID-19 pandemic level, full-time work has grown by 460,000 jobs, up 2.9 percent… Overall, the share of workers employed on a full-time basis increased by 0.8 percentage points to 81.9 per cent in the 12 months to November,” reports Statistics Canada.
Canada added 10,000 paid, filled jobs in November and the unemployment rate dipped from 0.1 per cent to 5.1 per cent with most newly-hired women aged 25 to 54 years of age with jobs in finance, insurance, real estate and recreation.
In November, another 21,000 people landed jobs in the finance, insurance, real estate, rental and leasing sectors with those jobs fairly evenly spread across the country.
The manufacturing sector also added jobs, 19,000, that month, building on the gain of 24,000 new jobs in October, with most of the latest jobs in that sector being in Quebec and Alberta.