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Backgrounder: Migrant Worker Recruitment & Protection – Model Legislation

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Linnsie Clark


1) Introduction
The BC Employment Standards Coalition (the “Coalition”) was established in November, 2010 to develop and advocate for public policy that protects fundamental workplace rights,
improves employment standards, and ensures effective enforcement of those rights and standards.

In British Columbia, the Employment Standards Act (“ESA”)
provides the minimum standards for working conditions in the province. Non-unionized employers cannot contract out of the ESA.

Not all workers in BC have the ability or bargaining power to negotiate fair and reasonable working conditions on their own behalf. Consequently, many workers in BC, especially non-unionized workers within the vulnerable worker groups including Temporary Foreign Workers), rely solely on the ESA. As such, robust employment standards legislation is a critical tool in protecting and advancing workersʼ rights and working conditions.

However, the Coalition is of the view that the current ESA falls short in its protection of vulnerable worker groups. One of the objectives of the Coalition is to develop model legislation that modernizes the ESA through amendments in order to broaden the protection of workers. This backgrounder and the attached model legislation deal specifically with the ESA as it applies to Temporary Foreign Workers (“TFWs”).

Number of pages


Institution responsable

B.C. Employment Standards Coalition

Fichiers joints


Secteurs économiques

General relevance - all sectors

Types de contenu

Policy analysis et Initiatives de soutien

Pertinence géographique

Colombie-Britannique et National relevance

Sphères d’activité

Droit et Science politique