This program operates on a Canadian First basis, which means, all employment opportunities for seasonal agricultural work in Canada are first made available to qualified Canadian citizens and permanent residents before recourse is made to the Seasonal Agricultural Worker Program (SAWP).
The programs will be administered in accordance with the following general principles and operational guidelines:
Employers requesting a higher number of workers than in the previous year will be assessed not only in the working conditions and factors considered in the Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) process but also in relation to why the increase.
The terms and conditions, as well as program operations governing SAWP, have been negotiated by the Government of Canada, the government of Mexico, the governments of the participating Caribbean countries, and industry representatives. Employer’s request to participate in SAWP are subject to their acceptance of conditions set out in the employer/employee contract, the context of the LMIA, compliance with the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations in relation to TFWP and, in some instances, to their payment of a user-fee to F.A.R.M.S. who have been recognized by ESDC / Service Canada to perform an administrative role in program delivery.
The contract provides for employment of not less than 240 hours in a period of six weeks or less but NOT MORE THAN EIGHT MONTHS. In the case of workers who are transferred to another farm following completion of their contract, the 240 minimum hours of work DOES NOT apply.
All participating commodities are required to maintain the following term of employment:
01 January to 15 December
Employers are required to pay the greatest of the following:
Employers participating in the SAWP are responsible for selecting the source country from the Caribbean or Mexico.
Although most workers entering Canada under SAWP are male, all countries have requested to supply female seasonal agricultural workers, provided acceptable accommodation arrangements are available.
Employment and Social Development Canada/Service Canada now have the authority to conduct inspections to verify an employer’s compliance with the conditions in IRPR for a period of 6 years (refer to pages 22-24). A Confidential Tip Line and a Complaints Web page is available to report abuse of a Foreign Worker. Each and every complaint will be reviewed by Integrity Services.