What kind of rights do Overseas Filipino Workers OFWs have in Canada?
OFW RIGHTS IN CANADA
The rights of temporary foreign workers (including Overseas Filipino Workers OFWs) are protected in Canada.
If you are an Overseas Filipino Worker OFW in Canada, your rights are protected by law.
It is important for you to understand what your rights are while you are working as an Overseas Filipino Worker OFW in Canada.
CANADIAN EMPLOYERS & OFW RIGHTS
Canadian employers who hire OFWs are required to:
Pay you for all work you perform
Provide you with a safe work environment
Provide you with break times and days off
Adhere to the terms indicated on your Employment Contract
Canadian employers cannot:
Force you to do work that you were not originally hired forForce you to do work that you are not trained forForce you to work when you are sick or injuredTake your Philippine passportTake your work permitThreaten you with deportationDeduct payments for recruitment fees
There may be other federal and provincial laws that provide you with additional protections depending on your place of employment in Canada.
Contact your local Employment Standards office for further assistance.
Alternatively, you may also contact the Philippine Overseas Labour Office (POLO) which has jurisdiction over your province of employment.
Your Canadian employer cannot prevent you from contacting Employment Standard offices and POLOs if you need assistance.
For protection during your employment in Canada, you must have a copy of your Employment Contract signed by both yourself and your Canadian Employer.
An Employment Contract in Canada is a legal document that details what is expected from you both, and must meet the minimum legal employment requirements in the province of your employment.
Certain temporary foreign workers who are classified as “high-wage” are not required to have an Employment Contract, however, it is still encouraged to have one nevertheless.
Further information about your status in Canada under the Temporary Foreign Worker Program can be found in the Labour Marker Impact Assessment LMIA and attached documents provided by your Canadian Employer prior to your submission of documents for a Work Permit.
Your Employment Contract must include:
A detailed description about your responsibilities at work.Information about deductions made to your salaries including Canada Pension Plan, Employment Insurance and Income Tax deductions.
Your Employment Contract should also include the number of hours you are expected to work each day, as well as information about break times and days off. Your hourly rate, as well as overtime pay, should also be detailed in your Employment Contract.
Canadian Employers of Overseas Filipino Workers OFWs under the low wage category (including farm workers and Caregivers) are required to pay for their workers transportation costs to and from Canada, provide private health care coverage and make sure that you have somewhere to live.
You are allowed to change employers at any time, provided that your new Canadian Employer is authorized to employ foreign nationals under the Temporary Foreign Worker Program TWFP.
Your Canadian Employer cannot prevent you from looking for other opportunities in Canada, but take note that in most cases, both your prospective Canadian Employer and yourself will need authorization from the Government of Canada before you can legally start working at your new job.
Make sure that Immigration Refugees and Citizenship Canada IRCC has issued you a new Work Permit reflecting your new Canadian Employer before you start working.
SERVICE CANADA CONFIDENTIAL TIP LINE
If you have any concerns about your employment in Canada, call the Service Canada Confidential Tip Line at 1 (888) 602-9448. You can provide information anonymously.
Service Canada takes any allegations of OFW workplace violations seriously, and will investigate thoroughly.
WHAT YOU SHOULD DO IF YOU LOSE YOUR JOB
Your Canadian Employer must give you notice in advance before terminating your employment. Doing so will allow you prepare to look for a new job.
If your Canadian Employer cannot give you advanced notice, you will receive termination pay instead.
The number of days in advance and the amount you should receive as termination pay will depend on your province of employment, as well as the length of time you have been working for your Canadian Employer.
Advanced notice and termination pay does not apply if your Canadian Employer has just cause for terminating your employment.
If you believe at your Canadian Employer is breaking the law, you can complain to the labour standards office of your province of employment.
WORKPLACE HEALTH AND SAFETY
Canada has labour laws that protect workers (including OFWs), ensuring safe working conditions. All workers in Canada must be provided a safe work environment by their employers.
As an Overseas Filipino Worker OFW in Canada, you must make sure that you have adequate training in order to properly do your job, and that you have the right equipment to do so.
You can refuse to do work if you believe that doing so poses a serious risk to your health and safety.
You can report unsafe working conditions to the workplace health and safety office responsible for your province of employment.
WHAT YOU SHOULD DO IF YOU ARE INJURED AT WORK
If you are injured at work, get medical assistance and inform your Canadian Employer immediately.
Workers’ compensation will depend on your province of employment. If you do not yet qualify for provincial health coverage, your Canadian Employer should provide you with private health coverage.
Your Canadian Employer cannot deduct private health insurance premiums from your salary except under certain conditions.
BOARD AND LODGING
Your Canadian Employer must make sure that suitable and affordable accommodations are available to you, or provide you with suitable and affordable accomodations at their primary residence if you are a Caregiver.
Caregivers are no longer required to live with their Canadian Employers, but may choose to do so if they wish.
Canadian Employers cannot charge OFWs board and lodging for living in their primary residence.
Canadian Employers must provide OFWs who choose to live with them with a private and furnished bedroom that has a lock and a window.
Accommodations must meet the minimum safety standards of the province of employment.
NOTES ON HUMAN TRAFFICKING
Overseas Filipino Workers OFWS are advised to exercise caution to avoid becoming victims of human trafficking.
Victims of human trafficking are controlled by their Canadian Employers and are forced to provide labour or sexual services usually under threat of violence.
Human trafficking is a crime punishable by law in Canada. You are advised to seek help if you believe you are a victim of human trafficking.
Victims of human trafficking oftentimes are prevented from leaving their place of work and have to live under las than suitable conditions.
Victims of human trafficking also have their personal documents such as their Philippine passports and Work Permits taken away by their Canadian Employers.
Other victims of human trafficking experience physical, sexual or psychological abuse at the hands of their Canadian Employers.
The payment of recruitment fees for the promise of employment in Canada is also very common with victims of human trafficking.
If you believe yourself to be a victim of human trafficking, contact 911 or your local police department. You can also call Crimestoppers anonymously at 1 (800) 222-8477.
Victims of human trafficking are granted Open Work Permits and receive provincial health care. Victims of human trafficking are not required to pay any fees, nor are they required to testify agains their human traffickers.
Other government offices you can contact for help if you believe yourself to be a victim of human trafficking would be Immigration Refugees and Citizenship Canada IRCC 1 (888) 242-2100 and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) at 1 (855) 850-4640.
FOR QUESTIONS ABOUT WORKPLACE SAFETY
British Columbia: 1-888-621-7233
New Brunswick: 1-800-222-9775
Newfoundland and Labrador: 1-800-563-5471
Northwest Territories: 1-800-661-0792
Nova Scotia: 1-800-952-2687
Prince Edward Island: 1-800-237-5049
Employment standards offices
FOR QUESTIONS ABOUT SALARIES
British Columbia: 1-800-663-3316
New Brunswick: 1-888-452-2687
Newfoundland and Labrador: 1-877-563-1063
Northwest Territories: 1-888-700-5707
Nova Scotia: 1-888-315-0110
Prince Edward Island: 1-800-333-4362
Yukon: 1-800-661-0408, extension 5944
CITIZENSHIP AND IMMIGRATION CANADA CIC 1-888-242-2100
CANADA BORDER SERVICES AGENCY 1-800-461-9999
SERVICE CANADA 1-866-602-9448
GOVERNMENT OF CANADA GENERAL INFORMATION 1-800-622-6232
PHILIPPINE EMBASSY, CONSULATE GENERALS AND PHILIPPINE OVERSEAS LABOUR OFFICES
EMBASSY OF THE REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES IN OTTAWA
30 Murray St.Ottawa, ON K1N 5M4
Tel: (613) 233-1121Fax: (613) 233-4165
In case of emergency: (613) 614-2846
Email: email@example.com | firstname.lastname@example.org
CONSULATE GENERAL OF THE REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES IN TORONTO
7/F 160 Eglinton Ave. E.Toronto, ON M4P 3B5
Tel: (416) 922-7181Fax: (416) 922-2638
PHILIPPINE OVERSEAS LABOUR OFFICE (POLO) TORONTO
2/F 160 Eglinton Ave. E.Toronto, ON M4P 3B5
Tel: (416) 975-8252 Fax: (416) 975-8277
SOCIAL SECURITY SYSTEM (SSS) TORONTO
2/F 160 Eglinton Ave. E.Toronto, ON M4P 3B5
Tel: (416) 485-2999 | (416) 485-2888 Fax: (416) 485-2881
PAGIBIG FUND TORONTO
2/F 160 Eglinton Ave. E.Toronto, ON M4P 3B5
Tel: (647) 642-3694
CONSULATE GENERAL OF THE REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES IN VANCOUVER
999 Canada Place, Suite 660Vancouver, BC V6C 3E1Tel: (604) 685-1619 | (604) 685-7645Fax: (604) 685-9945
CONSULATE GENERAL OF THE REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES IN CALGARY
517 10th Ave. SW., Suite 920
Calgary, AB T2R 0A8
Tel: (403) 455-9343 | (403) 455-9343 | (403) 455-9346 | (403) 455-9457 | (403) 455-9483 | (587) 577-1524
Email: email@example.com | firstname.lastname@example.org
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