TORONTO, ONTARIO–(Marketwired – July 16, 2014) – The Ontario government is recognizing migrant worker abuse at the hands of recruiters by re-introducing Bill 146, but real protections for migrant workers are still missing says the Migrant Workers Alliance for Change (MWAC). A law announced today will extend a ban on charging recruitment fees from just Live-In Caregivers to all migrant workers.
Today’s announcement will also remove the arbitrary monetary cap on reclaiming unpaid wages and extend the deadline for filing claims to two years increasing protections for migrant workers.
“The Ontario government should follow Manitoba’s lead and implement a system of proactive enforcement so that migrant workers don’t pay thousands of dollars in fees to come to Canada. Doing so would free migrant workers and their families from immense debt and would increase their ability to assert their rights here,” says Syed Hussan, MWAC Coordinator.
“A proactive systems is one where employers and recruiters are kept accountable through registering and licensing, and are held jointly financially liable if workers are charged fees for work,” Hussan explains.
“As Ontario moves forward on protections from recruiters and changes to the Employment Standards Act, we also need to look deeply at the ways in which provincial laws exclude migrant workers from benefits and protections,” adds Chris Ramsaroop from the MWAC. “We look forward to the Wynne government actually sitting down with migrant workers and overhauling minimum wage, employment protections, health and safety, social assistance and other regulations.”