I came to Canada to work on a farm. What are my rights?

This information is for people who come to Canada to work on a farm to grow plants or care for animals. If you came to Canada to pick fruit or harvest vegetables, see I came to Canada to pick and harvest crops. What are my rights at work?

Many farm workers are temporary foreign workers. See I’m a temporary foreign worker. What are my rights?

Temporary foreign workers are also called migrant workers.

Here are the most common ways people come to work on farms:

Employers use different words when talking about their farm employees. Some examples are farm labourers, farm hands, or farm workers. It does not matter what you're called. What does matter is the type of work you're doing. Step 1 has more information to help you figure this out.

Rights you have

Farm workers have the right to get:

And you might have the right to these leaves from work:

Rights you do not have

You do not have the right to:

  • minimum wage or overtime pay
  • paid vacation, which is time off for vacations
  • paid public holidays, which is time off on public holidays
  • limits on how many hours you work in a day
  • limits on how much you work in a week
  • meal breaks

Work permits

To get a job, you need a work permit. Most people must apply for a work permit before they come to Canada. The 2 types of work permits are:

  • closed work permits
  • open work permits

A closed work permit tells you:

  • the name of the employer you can work for, and
  • how long you can work for them.

An open work permit allows you to work for almost any employer who will hire you, unless they:

Most work permits are closed work permits.

Getting help and support

If you think your employer is not following the law, it's a good idea to get help from a group that supports temporary foreign workers, for example:

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