What Is Unjust Recruitment?

Temporary Foreign Workers in BC perform critical work caring for children and the elderly, and helping businesses to grow. Yet, they are often subjected to abuse and exploitation along the recruitment pathway to, and within, BC.

It is illegal to charge people money for finding a job in BC. Yet, recruiters routinely charge Temporary Foreign Workers thousands of dollars in illegal recruitment fees for jobs in BC that are often different than promised or do not exist at all. To pay recruitment fees, workers typically borrow money, and end up in debt when they arrive in Canada.

The combination of high debt, low pay, temporary immigration status, and work permits that are tied to one single employer make Temporary Foreign Workers vulnerable to abuse by employers and recruiters. Temporary Foreign Workers fear the very real repercussions of being fired by their employer and deported if they assert their rights or complain about poor treatment or work conditions.

What is the Rising Up Against Unjust Recruitment campaign?

The Rising Up Against Unjust Recruitment campaign calls on the BC government to take urgent steps to stop the abuse of Temporary Foreign Workers in our province. In particular, BC must take steps to stop recruiters and employers from charging unlawful fees and to help workers to recover these fees more easily. Six other provinces have implemented legislation to better protect migrant workers, including enhanced regulation of recruiters and proactive enforcement. Despite bringing in the second highest number of TFWs, BC continues to lag behind.

We demand that the provincial government take the following action:

  1. Enact new legislation to protect temporary foreign workers. Require that recruiters of temporary foreign workers be licensed in BC and pay a financial security at the time of licensing, hold employers liable for the actions of their agents, and increase the limitation period for filing complaints with the Employment Standards Branch to 3 years. 
  2. Implement a proactive enforcement regime. Make employers register with the province, hold recruiters liable for the actions of agents operating outside of BC, mandate inspections of workplaces and housing, investigate anonymous and third party complaints, and increase penalties for violations of the Employment Standards Act. 
  3. Provide access to information and advocacy. Require that employers facilitate access to free information sessions for workers about their rights. Establish advisory of ces to assist workers with ling complaints and a 24 hour help line.

Who We Are:

Our coalition is made up of concerned individuals and organizations including West Coast Domestic Workers’ Association, Community Legal Assistance Society, MOSAIC, Migrante BC, Migrant Workers’ Dignity Association, BC Employment Standards Coalition and Collective Red Legal.

 If you need help!

If you are a worker who is in need of help, please access our list of services and resources in British Columbia  at risingup.ca


What you can do!

To support our campaign to abolish unjust recruitment practices in BC you can:

  • Ask your group to endorse our letter to Minister Shirley Bond available online at risingup.ca
  • Sign our petition at risingup.ca
  • Join our social media campaign: like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter
  • Invite one of our speakers to your event or group to learn more about the campaign
  • Do volunteer work with us
  • Do paid work with us. We are hiring a Campaign Organizer!