Changes to the Yukon Nominee Program mean the public will know when a Yukon business has been banned for breaking the rules.
The territorial government announced yesterday names of employers banned from the program will be published on the Department of Education website.
The idea is to make the process more transparent, said Shawn Kitchen, the department’s assistant deputy minister of advanced education.
“Employers, knowing that they could potentially have their names listed and out there publicly, I think acts as a deterrent, which is absolutely critical to us as well.”
Starting Sept. 1, businesses that get banned from the program will have their business name and the length of their penalty put online.
But the type of infraction will only be listed as minor, moderate or serious.
Kitchen said the website will have examples of situations that could fall under one of the three categories but won’t provide any details about what a specific business did to get banned.
“I think it’s one of those things where it’s just a high-level thing that we put inside of the website. I don’t think there’s a need to get into the details,” he said.
Examples of serious violations would include paying inappropriate wages, giving an employee fewer than the minimum number of hours of work, or accepting payment to employ a worker, Kitchen said.
Moderate violations would include not making the required deductions from a nominee’s pay.
Minor charges could include not advertising for a job locally long enough.
Once a ban is over, an employer’s information will be taken off the website, he said.
The Yukon Nominee Program places prospective immigrants in Yukon businesses and gives them the opportunity to become permanent residents.
Since it started in 2007 only eight of the 240 businesses that have taken part in the program have ever been banned, Kitchen said.
Having the information online will help potential foreign workers know which companies to avoid and it could impact other potential employees as well, Kitchen said.
“If Canadians see that these employers are banned from the program they might think twice about working for the employer as well.”
Aside from the new online information, the Yukon government has bumped the maximum penalty for breaking the rules from a three to a five year ban.
“It gives us more flexibility to deal with more serious infractions,” Kitchen said.
Rick Karp, president of the Whitehorse Chamber of Commerce, said the changes won’t affect the majority of Yukon businesses.
“If a business is following the rules and regulations there’s no impact, and for those who are not following the rules and regulations, they’re affecting the rest of us.”
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