While Canada is known to have robust employment laws, if you are a foreign worker in Canada, you can still be a victim of unfair and unlawful practices. It is important to understand your rights. Here are 12 rights you should know you have under Canadian employment law.

Equal Pay for Equal Work

Temporary foreign workers are entitled to the same pay as Canadian citizens in similar roles. If your employer is paying you less than a Canadian citizen in the same role, they may be breaking the equal pay for equal work law. The pay includes salary as well as benefits.

Employment Standards

As a temporary foreign worker in Canada, you have the same employment rights as local workers. This covers minimum wage, working hours, breaks, and overtime pay. It’s essential to get familiar with the specific employment standards of your province or territory.

Workplace Safety

Canadian law obliges employers to ensure a safe work environment for all employees, including temporary foreign workers like you. Employers must provide appropriate training and safety equipment, and you can refuse to work in unsafe conditions without fear of retaliation.

Labor Mobility Rights

In Canada, you, as a temporary foreign worker, can switch employers as long as you meet certain requirements. This flexibility is crucial if issues arise with your current employer, like unpaid wages or dangerous work conditions.

However, it’s important to know the terms and limitations of changing employers since it could affect your immigration status.

Health Care Access

Foreign workers can take advantage of Canada’s healthcare system. Their eligibility depends on which province or city they are working in. This will determine whether they will receive health insurance through the provincial plan or a private insurance plan.

Housing Rights

As a temporary foreign worker in Canada, you have the right to secure and appropriate housing. Employers who offer housing must make sure it meets necessary health and safety standards. If you’re facing any issues with your living conditions, don’t hesitate to seek help from local authorities or relevant organizations.

Access to Legal Representation

If you encounter any problems concerning your employment, immigration status, or other issues, remember that you have the right to seek legal advice. A legal representative such as an employment lawyer or immigration lawyer can be incredibly beneficial in safeguarding your rights and interests.


Discrimination based on race, nationality, gender, religion, or any other protected grounds is strictly forbidden by Canadian law.


In case of discrimination or harassment at work, know that you possess the right to submit a complaint and seek remediation.

Immigration Rights

As a temporary foreign worker in Canada, it’s essential to understand your immigration status and your work permit’s terms. Make sure to keep your immigration status valid during your stay and be mindful of any specific conditions tied to your work permit, like employer restrictions or the necessity for a labor market impact assessment (LMIA).

Unionization Rights

Joining a union is a right that foreign workers have. An employer cannot restrict or prohibit a foreign worker from joining a union.

Language Rights

Every temporary foreign worker deserves to work in an environment where they can understand and communicate effectively. Although English and French are Canada’s official languages, you should not experience discrimination or unfair treatment due to language barriers. If you require language assistance, seek it without fear of negative consequences.

Education Rights for Dependents

If you bring your dependent children with you to Canada, they have the right to receive education in public schools. Make sure to enroll them in school and acquaint yourself with the educational system in your province or territory.