• Prevailing Wages Updated
  • November 8, 2017
  • Executive Summary

    On September 25, 2017, updated wage information was released and went into effect, creating new prevailing wages for many industries in Canada.

    The situation
    The Canadian government updated the prevailing wage for many industries.

    A closer look
    On September 25, 2017, the Canadian government released updated wage information for occupations in numerous industries. Applications filed on or after September 25 must meet the updated wage requirements.

    Many work permit categories require that a foreign national be paid the prevailing wage, which is the median wage as established by Employment and Skills Development Canada/Service Canada (ESDC), as a minimum requirement for eligibility for a work permit.
    Failure to comply with the prevailing wage may result in compliance issues for employers of foreign nationals in Canada.

    Impact on pending applications
    Pending work permit and Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) applications may also be impacted by this change; employers may receive requests to adjust the wage offered to a foreign national prior to visa issuance.

    Work Permit Category

    Application of prevailing wage

    Intra-Company Transferees (in particular Specialized Knowledge, non-NAFTA)

    Prevailing wage is a minimum requirement for new work permits and extensions.

    LMIA non-Global Talent Strategy

    Employers have an obligation to comply with the prevailing wage and to review and adjust the wages of the foreign national, when applicable, at least annually, to ensure that the foreign national continues to receive the prevailing wage for the occupation and region where they are employed. This may affect ongoing recruitment efforts.

    Global talent Stream LMIA

    Employers have an obligation to comply with the prevailing wage, or other wage floors, based on occupation and region.

    Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA)

    The intra corporate transferee specialist category has a requirement to comply with the prevailing wage.

    Permanent Residence

    Many employers sponsored PR applications under the Provincial Nominee Programs require that employers of foreign nationals comply with the prevailing wage.

    Implications for employers
    The prevailing wage has increased for many occupation categories. Employers should review their foreign worker population for compliance with the updated wage requirements. Fragomen can assist with this review.