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2020-08-31 Breaking News- Quarantine for foreign workers under IEC - working holiday - update

From: Bill Slaney 
Sent: Monday, August 31, 2020 11:05 AM
To: Heads of Departments <>
Subject: Important! - Quarantine for foreign workers under IEC - working holiday - update
Importance: High

 Hello Everyone,

 After much back and forth, and I have to acknowledge the invaluable work of Helen Davies at Sun Peaks who had a direct contact with a federal government official, it has been determined that according to IRCC, the working holiday stream under IEC is exempt from employer-paid quarantine (not exempt from quarantine, as this is still mandatory) so there is no obligation on the part of the employer to pay, because these are open work permits. 

 This is very welcome news as it does relieve a potentially onerous financial burden that resorts were initially told they would have to carry.  Specific details are highlighted in the email Helen received from her government contact.

 Nice to report good news for a change.


 Sent: August 31, 2020 7:46 AM

To: Helen Davies <>
Subject: RE: Follow up - quarantine for foreign workers


Hello Helen,


Thank you very much for providing this information.  I’m sorry I wasn’t able to get back to you on Friday – I was awaiting confirmation from IRCC policy-makers that the interpretation of the recent amendments to the employer compliance requirements in the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations that we spoke about is correct. 

 The way ESDC’s Guidance for Employers of Temporary Foreign Workers Regarding COVID-19 is written appears to make it  applicable to all employers of temporary foreign workers:

 Criteria for all employers

The employer must pay the worker regular pay and benefits for the quarantine period. Specifically, the employer must pay the worker for a minimum of 30 hours per week at the hourly rate of pay specified on the Labour Market Impact Assessment and/or offer of employment. The employer can withhold standard contract deductions (for example Employment Insurance, housing, transportation, etc.) as per applicable Program stream requirements. The employer is not allowed to deduct any additional amounts due to the quarantine period, unless agreed to by the worker (such as for food). Proof of wages paid should be kept.


The Regulatory Impact Analysis Statement in the Canada Gazette that you cited clarifies that these employer requirements are applicable to employers using both the Temporary Foreign Worker Program and the International Mobility program.  It does not speak specifically to open work permit holders, however.  Unless a work permit is employer-specific, a temporary foreign worker is not considered to have been “offered employment” in a way specified by the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations (IRPR) (cited below).  


As such, an employer who employs an open work permit holder is not subject to the employer compliance requirements set out in the IRPR.  Employers are required to meet the requirements of other federal and provincial/territorial employment laws which apply to all employment situations, not just to foreign workers.


With regard to International Experience Canada participants, this means that those who received an employer specific work permit under the Co-op Internship or Young Professionals steams must be paid wages during the quarantine period.  By contrast, employers are not required to pay wages during the quarantine period to those who received an open work permit under the Working Holiday stream. 


I hope this clarifies.  Please let me know if you have any questions or concerns.


Excerpts from the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations:


Foreign national referred to in subparagraph 200(1)(c)(iii)

209.3 (1) An employer who has made an offer of employment to a foreign national referred to in subparagraph 200(1)(c)(iii) must comply with the following conditions:

(a) during the period of employment for which the work permit is issued to the foreign national,

(xii) the employer, in the case of an employer who employs a foreign national who, in accordance with an order made under section 58 of the Quarantine Act, is required to isolate or quarantine themselves for a period on entry into Canada, must provide the foreign national with wages during that period that are substantially the same as those set out in the offer of employment;


200 (1) Subject to subsections (2) and (3) — and, in respect of a foreign national who makes an application for a work permit before entering Canada, subject to section 87.3 of the Act — an officer shall issue a work permit to a foreign national if, following an examination, it is established that

(c) the foreign national

(iii) has been offered employment, and an officer has made a positive determination under paragraphs 203(1)(a) to (e)


Sincerely / Cordialement,


a/Assistant Director, Outreach

Dedicated Service Channel (DSC) | Domestic Network
Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada | Government of Canada

Directrice adjointe p.i, Promotion

Mode de service réservé (MSR)| Réseau national 
Immigration, Réfugiés et Citoyenneté Canada | Gouvernement du Canada