2.C Settlement and Integration
C.3 How is job search and training treated?
(v) Do any special employment conditions or restrictions apply to sponsored refugees?
How Canada Does It
As permanent residents, refugees have full mobility rights and the right to work anywhere in Canada. Provincial and federal human rights legislation prohibits employers from discriminating against refugees in hiring or in the workplace. Local settlement service provider organizations are able to help refugees overcome difficulties in securing employment through a range of employment-related services (see. 2.C.3(ii)).
Generally speaking, there are no special employment conditions or restrictions that apply to refugees. As permanent residents, refugees have full mobility rights and the right to work anywhere in Canada. Refugees may encounter difficulties in securing employment due to language barriers and challenges in finding equivalent work in their field of expertise. Canada’s Settlement Program provides labour market access supports to help overcome some of these challenges, including: networking, internships, mentorships, work placements, and preparation for the credential assessment process. As permanent residents, refugees are also unable to hold political office and may be ineligible for some jobs that require a high-level security clearance (see 2.C.1(ii)).
Provincial and federal human rights legislation prohibits employers from discriminating against refugees in hiring or in the workplace. The Canadian Human Rights Act (CHRA) provides that “it is a discriminatory practice, directly or indirectly, (a) to refuse to employ or continue to employ any individual, or (b) in the course of employment, to differentiate adversely in relation to an employee, on a prohibited ground.” Prohibited grounds include: race, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, age, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, family status, genetic characteristics, disability, and conviction for an offence for which a pardon has been granted. The CHRA governs federal employers while provincial human rights statutes prohibit discriminatory behavior on the part of all other employers. For instance, the Ontario Human Rights Code provides, “every person has a right to equal treatment with respect to employment without discrimination because of race, ancestry, place of origin, colour, ethnic origin, citizenship, creed, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, age, record of offences, marital status, family status or disability.”
Employers are also encouraged to provide opportunities to refugees that not only give employment but also access to language and further professional training. Employers are encouraged to offer flexible work schedules to accommodate language training and childcare duties; provide interpretation services during the interview process; give opportunities to shadow other employees to learn the job; offer transportation subsidies; provide scholarships and employment opportunities for children of refugees; and integrate language training into the work structure. Some provinces provide employers incentives or subsidies to hire vulnerable people including refugees.