Labour Mobility Proclaimed
Perspectives for the Professions
April 2023 - 4 min read
Field Law covered Alberta’s new Labour Mobility Act when it was first introduced in the legislature in October 2021. The Labour Mobility Act and the new Labour Mobility Regulation were proclaimed into force on April 6, 2023.1
The Labour Mobility Act and Regulation apply to “labour mobility applicants.” These are applicants who are currently registered to practice the same profession in other Canadian provinces or territories. The Fair Registration Practices Act has been amended so that it does not apply to “labour mobility applicants.”
We previously reported on the most significant obligations the Labour Mobility Act creates for regulators, including sharing information about the registration process and its very onerous timelines. Regulators receiving an application from a labour mobility applicant must:
- Acknowledge receipt of the application in writing within ten business days;
- Make a decision within 20 business days of receiving a complete application, though this may be extended for up to 10 business days by the Minister;
- Provide written reasons for a decision to refuse the application or to register the applicant with restrictions, limitations or conditions, along with information about any available internal review or appeal; and
- Provide a written decision with reasons for any internal review or appeal within ten business days of making a decision.
The Labour Mobility Act requires Alberta regulators to register labour mobility applicants without assessing their education, competency, training or work experience. The Act left regulators with significant concerns about the types and amount of information they could require from applicants. It provides that regulators may only require proof of certification in another Canadian jurisdiction and “anything else prescribed in the regulations .” The new Labour Mobility Regulation dispels many of those concerns. It permits Alberta regulators to impose certain requirements, provided they do not create disguised labour mobility restrictions and are no more onerous than the requirements for regular applicants.
Alberta regulators may require labour mobility applicants to provide information such as contact information, proof of identity and proof of insurance. Application fees may be charged, provided they are no higher than for regular applicants, unless a higher fee is required to cover an actual cost difference for labour mobility applicants. If the information or fees, or the form in which they are provided, are unsatisfactory, the Alberta regulator can choose between registering the applicant and refusing to grant registration.
Evidence of Good Standing
Alberta regulators may also require labour mobility applicants to request a letter of good standing from regulators in other jurisdictions. If a letter indicates the applicant is not in good standing, the Alberta regulator can again choose between registering the applicant and refusing to grant registration.
Knowledge of Matters in Alberta
Alberta regulators may require labour mobility applicants to provide the results of an assessment of their knowledge of practice in Alberta, provided it doesn’t require material additional training, assessments, examinations or experience. Regulators must ensure applicants can complete the knowledge assessment and receive the results within a reasonable time of applying.
If the results are unsatisfactory or do not meet the Alberta regulator’s standards, the regulator can choose between approving and refusing the application.
Evidence of Language Proficiency
Alberta regulators may require proof of language proficiency. If a language proficiency assessment results are unsatisfactory or do not meet the Alberta regulator’s standards, the regulator can choose between approving the application and refusing it.
Evidence of Good Character
Labour mobility applicants may be required to request a statement from regulators in other jurisdictions about whether the applicant has good character, as determined by those other regulators. Labour mobility applicants may also be required to provide criminal record checks and vulnerable sector checks from any jurisdiction.
If a statement indicates the applicant does not have good character, or if a criminal or vulnerable sector check is unsatisfactory, the Alberta regulator may register the applicant, may register them with restrictions, limitations or conditions, or refuse to grant registration if it considers it necessary to protect the public interest.
Evidence of Restrictions, Limitations or Conditions
Alberta regulators may also require labour mobility applicants to request a statement as to whether any restrictions, limitations or conditions have been imposed in the other jurisdictions.
If an applicant has restrictions, limitations or conditions in another jurisdiction, the Alberta regulator may approve the application with or without equivalent ones. The Alberta regulator may also refuse the application if no equivalent restriction, limitation or condition could be applied to regular Alberta registrants.
Alberta regulators with legitimate objectives may also impose restrictions, limitations or conditions or refuse registration in accordance with those legitimate objectives.
Evidence of Complaints, Investigations, Discipline or Criminal Proceedings
Alberta regulators may require labour mobility applicants to request that current or former regulators in other jurisdictions provide a statement about whether they are aware of any complaints, investigations, discipline or criminal proceedings related to the applicant’s competency, conduct or character.
If a statement reveals complaints, investigations, discipline or criminal proceedings, the Alberta regulator may refuse registration if necessary to protect the public interest. The Alberta regulator may also register the applicant with or without restrictions, limitations or conditions.
Field Law will continue our assessment of the Labour Mobility Act and Regulation. Professional regulators should review their registration processes for labour mobility applicants to ensure they are compliant with this new legislation. If you have questions about the implications of this new legislation for your professional regulatory organization, please contact Gregory Sim or any member of our Professional Regulatory Group.
1 Section 27 of the Labour Mobility Act did not come into force on proclamation. Once in force section 27 will rename the College of Licensed Practical Nurses of Alberta the College of Licensed Practical Nurses and Health Care Aides of Alberta.