Housing

Click on the title in the Green Bar to expand the content under that topic.


Seasonal Housing Q&A's

[-]
 

The Agreement for the Employment in Canada of Mexican and Commonwealth Caribbean Seasonal Agricultural Workers, determines the obligations and stipulations of employment between the Employer and the Worker state:

What Are the Housing Requirements?
Section II, of the Employment Agreement states the Employer agrees to: ‘Provide suitable accommodation to the Worker, without cost. Such accommodation must meet with the approval of the appropriate government authority responsible for health and living conditions in the province where the Worker is employed.

And further …… ‘Provide furnish cooking utensils, fuel and facilities. Employers are required to provide the necessary number of stoves and refrigerators in order that all workers may prepare their meals in a timely manner at the end of the work day. (The aforementioned section is condensed not verbatim)

Are Seasonal Housing Inspections Mandatory?

Yes! Annual season housing inspections must meet the standards set by the Ontario Ministry of Health on an annual basis.

How are Seasonal Housing Inspections Arranged?

You - The Employer is required to contact their local office of the Ministry of Health a minimum of four (4) weeks prior to the arrival of seasonal agricultural workers to arrange a time for the inspection.

Do I Need to Send the Approved Seasonal Housing Report with the Order?
No! The Ministry of Health and F.A.R.M.S. communicate to each other electronically there is no purpose to send the housing inspection report unless requested to do so.

Box ‘Seasonal Housing Approval’ on the application asks you to provide ‘proof of prior or current year attached’ however, in Ontario a record of housing for each employer is maintained by F.A.R.M.S.  therefore proof of housing does not need to be sent with each order unless requested.

How Does the Ministry of Health know an Order was Placed?

Upon receiving an order F.A.R.M.S. communicates to the health office of the order placed. The Health office takes this as notice the employer will be making contact to schedule a seasonal housing inspection.

No Seasonal Housing Approval Obtained Last Season – Does this affect an order?

Yes! You may place the order however until the Ministry of Health provides to F.A.R.M.S. a confirmation of the approved inspection the order will be held.

Last Year Seasonal Housing was Approved and This Year the Number of Workers Requested will be Higher than What was Approved – Does This Make a Difference?

Yes! Where an employer requests a higher number of seasonal agricultural workers than last year the request for the additional number of workers will be held until the housing is arranged and the inspection is complete. It is suggested that two orders are placed, one to request the number of workers the housing was approved for last year and in all likelihood will be again and a second order for the number of workers that exceed the number of workers the housing was approved for.

Does Anyone from the Foreign Country Inspect the Seasonal Housing?

Yes! A further inspection by a Foreign Government Official will almost always happen either prior to or after the worker arrival. If any concerns arise at the time of their visit it is appropriate they are discussed with the employer.

Where can a Copy of the Housing Guidelines be Obtained?
A complete housing guideline is available on the F.A.R.M.S. website or you may contact F.A.R.M.S. to request. Individual employers are responsible to make themselves aware of the guidelines and ensure any maintenance and repairs are completed.

Housing Guidelines

[-]
Click Here  
The housing guidelines are available in a PDF document. Click Here to download the file.

Housing Check List

[-]

This sheet is provided as a quick check list:

  • You the Employer are responsible to contact the local Health Unit in your area to schedule an appointment for an annual Bunkhouse Inspection a minimum of 4 weeks prior to worker arrivals.  It is understood that in some areas the water is not turned on until closer to the arrival date.  This should not delay you in contacting the Health Unit.  Make the Inspector aware of your situation and proceed as they suggest.
  • After the Health Unit inspects and issues an approval the Unit is requested to electronically send the information to F.A.R.M.S. which is updated on the Employer file.  At the time of placing an LMO Application for the next year the application will not be disrupted if last years approvals on file.  If, there is no approval on file the LMO Application will not be sent to the Source Country until a current inspection is conducted and approved, and the Health Unit confirms same to F.A.R.M.S.
  • In the case where, on your LMO Application the requested number of workers is higher than what you employed in the previous year the approved Bunkhouse Inspection for the increase must be received with the Application.  If this is not possible the LMO Application will be split into 2 Applications, one for the approved number and one for the unapproved number.  The pending number will not be sent to the country until the inspection takes place and approval is received.
  • Employers often sublet Bunkhouses to other employers.  In this case F.A.R.M.S. requires notice in writing from the Employer who is subletting and proof of an approved inspection.
  • It is also acceptable to let transfers stay in the original Employer's bunkhouse if the proximity is acceptable.
  • If it important to keep F.A.R.M.S. updated with all Bunkhouse locations.

 

Updated:  September 2013

Trees