General Principles For SAWP


GENERAL PRINCIPLES FOR THE SEASONAL AGRICULTURAL WORKER PROGRAM

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).

GENERAL PRINCIPLES and OPERATIONAL GUIDELINES

The programs will be administered in accordance with the following general principles and operational guidelines:

  1. SAWP workers are to be authorized for employment in agricultural commodity sectors specified under the National List of SAWP Commodities during peak activity periods where the supply of Canadian workers is determined to be inadequate
  2. The programs operate on a seasonal basis; and the term…”Seasonal basis” is understood to refer to both the worker and the work. Workers temporarily admitted to Canada under SAWP be given work terms exceeding 8 months duration. Employers can access SAWP from 01 January to 15 December. It is to be clearly understood, by ALL parties, that every worker is to be repatriated by 15 December.
  3. Caribbean and/or Mexican workers are to be provided with suitable accommodation that meet Provincial / Municipal housing standards, receive the prevailing approved rates of pay for the work involved, and are to be treated in a fair and equitable manner by the farm employers.
NEW EMPLOYERS OR ADDITIONAL WORKERS

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.

TERMS AND CONDITIONS

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.

EMPLOYMENT AGREEMENT

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.

PERIODS OF EMPLOYMENT

All participating commodities are required to maintain the following term of employment:

01 January to 15 December

WAGES

Employers are required to pay the greatest of the following:

  • Minimum agricultural or provincial wage rate
  • The prevailing SAWP rate as determined by E.S.D.C. / Service Canada
  • The rate being paid by the employer to Canadian workers doing the same work
SELECT COUNTRY

Employers participating in the SAWP are responsible for selecting the source country from the Caribbean or Mexico.

REQUESTS FOR FEMALE WORKERS

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.

IMMIGRATION and REFUGEE PROTECTION ACT (IRPA) and the IMMIGRATION and REFUGEE PROTECTION REGULATIONS (IRPR)

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 pg. 25).  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.