Temporary Foreign Workers’ Rights and Responsibilities

Temporary foreign workers have the same rights and protections as all Canadian and permanent resident workers. The Government of Canada has created a resource highlighting Temporary Foreign Workers’ rights, which you can find here.

Employment Rules and Regulations 

In the Northwest Territories (NWT) there are rules that all Employers must follow with respect to employment. These rules are found in the Government of the Northwest Territories’ (GNWT) Employment Standards Act and the Government of Canada’s Canada Labour Code. Which rules apply depend on what type of industry the work is. The rules include such things as:

  • minimum wage;
  • hours of work and overtime pay;
  • paid vacation;
  • general holidays; and
  • time off for illness or a death in the worker’s family.

Employment Standards in the NWT

The Employment Standards Office serves the needs of both employers and employees by providing information and education on the rights of employees and the responsibilities of employers under the Employment Standards Act (the Act).  

The Employment Standards Act and Employment Standards Regulations are the legal authorities in the NWT that set out the minimum employment standards and Employment Standards staff provide enforcement of these laws. 

The Act applies to most employees and employers that work in the NWT. However, the Act does not apply to: 

  • federal government employees; 
  • territorial government employees; and 
  • workers in federally regulated industries such as aviation, banking, and most telecommunications operations (these workers fall under the Canada Labour Code). 

If you are a worker and experience any issues with your Employer related to any of the above noted items or you are an Employer and want  to learn more about the Employment Standards Act , you can reach out to Employment Standards directly by phone 867-767-9351 ext.71469 or email employment_standards@gov.nt.ca

Canada Labour Code 

The Canada Labour Code applies to those industries where the federal government has jurisdiction rather than the provinces or territories. 
Such industries include:

  • aviation;
  • transportation; 
  • banking; 
  • postal service; and 
  • broadcasting. 

The Canada Labour Standards Regulations set out the minimum standards that federally regulated employees and employers, must follow. To learn more, visit: 
Canada Labour Code and Canada Labour Standards Regulations.

Workplace Health and Safety

Every worker has the right to a healthy and safe workplace. In the Northwest Territories the Workers’ Safety and Compensation Commission (WSCC) is responsible for administering the Workers’ Compensation Acts, Safety Acts, Explosives Use Acts and the Mine Health and Safety Acts. WSCC offers workers in the NWT the following services: 

  • Medical and Claims Services provide support for injured workers; and 
  • Prevention Services offers safety education and training, as well as safe work practices. 

Workers’ compensation protects workers and employers. Employers must report workplace injuries and illnesses to the WSCC. It’s the law! 
Workplace injury. If you suffer a workplace injury that requires medical aid, you must report the injury to your Employer and the WSCC. 

Reporting Unsafe Work

The WSCC offers the Report Unsafe Work electronic service (e-service) for both workers and employers to identify situations, things, or conditions that may expose a person to risk of injury or occupational disease.
To learn more about the WSCC, visit www.wscc.nt.ca, call 1-866-277-3677 or view their online worker’s handbook.

Abuse, Harassment or Violence

If you experience abuse, harassment or if someone has physically hurt you, contact the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) right away. In the Northwest Territories you can call 911 to reach the RCMP.