Canada Launches Recognized Employer Pilot (REP) to Ease Hiring and Boost Labor Access

Recognised Employer Pilot

The Recognized Employer Pilot (REP) aims to simplify the hiring process and reduce the administrative burden for employers in the Temporary Foreign Worker (TFW) Program who have a track record of compliance. 

On August 8th, Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) announced the Recognized Employer Pilot (REP), designed to grant eligible Canadian employers quicker access to labor while upholding top-tier worker protection standards, a fresh pilot initiative within the Temporary Foreign Worker Program to tackle the persistent labor shortage within the nation. Recognized employers will enjoy extended LMIA(Labour Market Impact Assessment) validity periods, lasting up to 36 months, and streamlined LMIA applications for any future hiring needs.

Most employers require a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) before applying for a work permit to hire foreign workers, confirming the need and ensuring compliance but with the new initiative REP, it allows eligible employers with a history of at least three positive LMIAs in shortage occupations to gain extended LMIA validity and simplified future applications. 

Rollout and Application Timelines

The REP rollout consists of two stages:

Firstly, employers within the Primary Agriculture sector can start submitting applications for the 2024 season from September 2023.

Secondly, the second phase begins in January 2024, opening participation to all other industries.

Note that the application window for both categories will conclude by September 2024.

Determining REP Eligibility 

The eligibility assessment for REP will be conducted by Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC). To be part of REP, employers need to have obtained a minimum of three positive LMIAs for the same occupation within the past five years, drawn from a list of shortage-designated occupations supported by Canadian Occupational Projection System (COPS) data.

The assessment will rely on the employer’s track record of adhering to TFW(Temporary foreign worker)  Program rules and their frequency of utilizing the Program to fill sought-after roles. Employers expected to meet REP eligibility criteria will receive proactive invitations to apply using a unique dual-purpose LMIA application that is different from the standard one. They will have the option to use this application to simultaneously seek recognized status under REP and apply for the LMIA. If an employer is not granted recognized status, they can still utilize the TFW Program, and the Department will continue evaluating their LMIA as per standard practice.

Application Channels 

Two methods are available for submitting an LMIA and REP application:

1) LMIA Online Portal, a dependable and safe platform for employers to complete and submit their application to ESDC; or,

2) E-mail Submission, employers who have legitimate proof of exemption for the LMIA Online Portal can forward a PDF application form to ESDC via email.

Benefits of REP Status

Eligible employers can anticipate:

1) A streamlined application procedure for upcoming LMIA applications for positions listed in COPS;

2) Reduced interactions between participating employers and ESDC, thanks to simplified LMIA forms that enable employers to hire additional Temporary Foreign Workers for legitimate job offers under REP;

3) A Job Bank designation showcasing their recognized status, aimed at boosting interest from potential workers.

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