Updated January 22, 2021

Supporting Nova Scotia Farms, Agri-Businesses and Seafood Companies

The Nova Scotia Federation of Agriculture, Perennia and the Nova Scotia Departments of Agriculture and Fisheries and Aquaculture are working together to support agriculture and seafood companies in successfully completing the mandatory 14-day isolation period of temporary foreign workers, arriving in Nova Scotia via the SAWP and TFW streams.

Perennia is the primary contact to support employers through the isolation period and will act as the liaison to help employers ensure compliance with all provincial requirements.

The NSFA takes an active role in supporting employers by ensuring all required resources and templates are available for use during isolation and beyond. The NSFA is the voice of Nova Scotia farmers and takes an active role in advocating on various issues impacting temporary foreign workers and their employers.

As the employer, the process you follow for arranging your workers for the seasons remains the same – whether it be through F.A.R.M.S., another provider or own your own.  The support provided by Perennia is to help prepare you for your arrival of workers in Nova Scotia in compliance with the Guidance for Temporary Foreign Workers employed in the Agriculture and Seafood Sectors document.

Perennia Food and Agriculture
(for topics involving the 14-day isolation period)
Nova Scotia Federation of Agriculture (NSFA)
Sara Bone
Main office: 902-678-7722 ext 3 or Toll Free 1-877-710-5210 ext 3
Cell phone:  902-300-4710
Email:  sbone@perennia.ca  and co copy tfw@perennia.caPerennia’s COVID-19 webpage

Kyla Pierik
Cell phone:  902-698-6873
Email:  kpierik@perennia.ca and co copy tfw@perennia.ca

Carolyn Van Den Heuvel
Cell phone:  902-318-8977
Email:  cvandenheuvel@nsfa-fane.ca 
Applicable Legislation

There are both federal and provincial requirements relating to the isolation period of temporary foreign workers. It is your responsibility as the employer to ensure that you and your workers understand your requirements under this legislation. Your responsibility and liability as employers are significant. In turn, so are the consequences of non-compliance.

Most Recent Health Protection Order by the Medical Officer of Health

Guidance for Temporary Foreign Workers Employed in the Agriculture and Seafood Sectors

Guidance for Employers of TFWs on COVID-19

Preparing Facilities for Worker Arrival

Review the Guidance for Temporary Foreign Workers Employed in Agriculture and Seafood Sectors document that outlines the requirements for isolation facilities.  Facilities must allow for physical distancing of 2m at all times – both in common areas and in bedrooms. It is the responsibility of the employer to ensure workers have access to groceries, cleaning supplies, and laundry facilities during isolation period.

The employer may choose to provide “Employer Self-Isolation Facilities” or “Commercial Self-Isolation Facilities”.

  • Employer self-isolation facilities include employer owned, leased, or rented private facilities (e.g. on-farm housing, apartments, rented cottage) where no services are provided
  • Commercial isolation facilities include hotels and conference centres where there are services provided (e.g. food delivered, security)

The employer must also have a plan in place if a sick worker is required to isolate from others (e.g. another house or  hotel room).

The employer is responsible for ensuring the following information is available within the facilities:

  • Physical distancing poster
  • Hand washing poster by every sink
  • Hand sanitizer and information
  • Information on properly wearing a non-medical mask
  • Gloves and information on how to remove them
  • Cleaning and disinfecting procedures
  • Information on disinfectants

We also recommend posting a contact form with important contacts including employer contact, Consulate Contact Information along with information for the OHS Division of the Department of Labour and Advanced Education.

The employer is responsible for ensuring the following forms are available for workers to complete:

  • COVID-19 Health Screening Form
  • COVID-19 House Cleaning and Disinfectant Log

The above forms, documents and posters are all available for download in both English and Spanish under the “Supporting Documents” tab.

Supporting Documents

Supporting Documents

The following documents have been collected or developed by Farm Safety Nova Scotia in an effort to support you in ensuring the health and safety of your farm, your families and your workers. Please visit the Farm Safety Nova Scotia COVID-19 Resources page for further resources.

Please share the following information document with your worker. It provides a basic overview of the situation and key contacts for them.

Information for TFWs  –  Click here for Spanish

Health Screening

Coronavirus disease (COVID-19): Symptoms and treatment

 COVID-19 Daily Health Screening Form for WorkerClick here for Spanish

COVID-19 Daily Health Screening Log for Employer

Cleaning & Disinfecting

Cleaning and Disinfecting Procedures  – Click here for Spanish

Disinfectants Info SheetClick here for Spanish

Hard-surface disinfectants and hand sanitizers (COVID-19): List of hard-surface disinfectants

Posters & Fact Sheets

Self-Isolation Infographic (Click here for Spanish)

Social Distancing Best Practices(Click here for Spanish)

Hand Washing Poster    (Click here for Spanish)

Hand Sanitizer Info Sheet  (Click here for Spanish)

Stop the Spread of Germs Infographic   (Click here for Spanish)

Wearing a Mask Infographic  (Click here for Spanish)

Physical Distancing Poster    (Click here for Spanish)

Removing Gloves Infographic  (Click here for Spanish)

Required Documentation for Submission

The employer is responsible for completing a checklist for each location where the Temporary Foreign Workers are completing the isolation period for each flight.  Regardless of the type of facility, the employer is responsible for submitting the checklist to Perennia, along with photographs, prior to the arrival of each group of workers.  Perennia will share the submitted documents with the appropriate government officials.

The checklists required are provided in a PDF format. Remember, a checklist is required for each housing unit/facility and for each arrival date of workers.

Perennia has created best practices guides to help you complete your checklist:

Workers Preparing to Come to Nova Scotia

There are additional Federal requirements this year for workers and they must complete the following before coming to Canada:

ArriveCAN Posters:

English 

Spanish

Picking Your Workers Up at the Airport

As always, you are responsible for picking your workers up at the airport.  Perennia will not be at the airport to greet workers as they had for most flights in 2020.

  • You or your representative can pick up your workers at the airport.
  • The Halifax Airport will be notified by Perennia (assuming they have been appropriately advised of the arrival) of your expected arrival prior to the flight so they know you or your representative will be there.
  • Names of workers will be provided to Nova Scotia Department of Environment (DOE) ahead of time who are stationed at the airport for arrivals and your workers can bypass regular lineups and go directly to the DOE folks. You or your representative will need to have worker names and isolation locations with you at the airport as well as a sign with your farm name on it.
  • You will need to provide food for your workers upon arrival this year. For those late-night flights, you can provide homemade food yourself (or from a local company) or have your driver or representative pick-up food on their way to the airport (Tim Hortons at the approach to the airport is open 24/7) Please remember that food needs to be available before the workers arrive as no stops are permitted after the workers leave the airport and Halifax Airport asks that those at the airport not walk around at the airport.

There are three methods of transportation permitted:

  1. Employer or their representative picks up workers
  2. Employer hires a third-party company (e.g. bus) to pick up workers
  3. Employers provide vehicle(s) at the Airport for workers to drive themselves to the isolation facility – for those with a valid International or Nova Scotia License
Drivers and workers must wear a non-medical mask at all times and strict cleaning protocols must be followed. No stops are permitted between the airport and isolation facilities. There are also restrictions on buses to operate at half capacity. Reference the Guidance document for full details.
During the Isolation Period

Workers are not permitted to work during isolation. It is the responsibility of the employer to ensure arrangements are made so that workers have food and cleaning supplies throughout the isolation period without leaving the facilities.

Workers are required to complete the self-assessment using the COVID-19 Health Screening Form.  Employers must check-in with their employees each day – via phone, text or while maintaining 2m distancing.  Employers must track their check-ins using the COVID-19 Health Screening Log.

Workers must also complete their daily check-in through the ArriveCAN app or by calling 1-833-641-0343.

Employers will also receive a call each week of the isolation period from Perennia. The purpose of this call is to determine whether further support is needed and to confirm all is going well.

You and your workers may also receive an Integrity Audit from the Integrity Division of ESDC. The NSFA and Perennia are not involved in this process but are aware that they happen.

Educating Your Workers

As the employer you are responsible for educating your workers on matters related to health and safety. It is recommended that you cover the following topics with your workers on their arrival:

  • Worker rights and responsibilities during isolation
  • Process for accessing food, cleaning supplies and laundry
    • It is strongly recommended that you clarify who will be paying for the food during isolation period
  • Physical distancing
  • Hand washing and sanitizing
  • Wearing non-medical masks
  • Gloves and how to safely use them
  • Cleaning and disinfecting requirements
  • Review health screening form
  • Review of emergency contact information for employer, consulate, 811 and OHS Division of Department of Labour and Advanced Education
After Isolation

Your workers have completed the isolation period – hopefully without any complications.  As your workers return to work, it will be important to educate them on all health and safety requirements on the farm. Farm Safety Nova Scotia has collected and prepared a number of resources to support you in ensuring the health and safety of your farm, your families and your workers. Please visit the Farm Safety Nova Scotia COVID-19 Resources page for further resources to support you post-isolation.

It is also important to note, that farms employing Temporary Foreign Workers should expect an inspection from the Occupational Health and Safety Division of the Department of Labour and Advanced Education following the isolation period.  This inspection will be focused specifically on COVID-19 related protocols. All efforts will be made by OHS Officers to contact the farm in advance to arrange a visit time. If you have any questions or concerns with your inspection, please contact Lori Brookhouse, Farm Safety Advisor for support.

Additional Links and Resources

Additional Links and Resources

As of November 21, 2020, those who are entering Canada by plane are required to complete the federal ArriveCAN app prior to arrival.  Information available on the federal government website at: https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/diseases/coronavirus-disease-covid-19/arrivecan.html

As of January 7, 2021, those who arrive in Canada by plane are required to have had a COVID-19 test within 72 hours of arrival.  Details can be found at can be found at https://travel.gc.ca /

IRCC – Instructions for work permit applications for changing jobs quickly.

Compliance inspections for Employers of the Temporary Foreign Worker Program during the COVID-19 pandemic

Letter from Ministers to employers – Temporary Foreign Workers – COVID-19

Guidance for Employers of Temporary Foreign Workers regarding COVID-19 

FAQ – Changes to the Temporary Foreign Worker Program regarding COVID-19

Main COVID-19 page for the TFW Program, which includes an overview of the new measures for employers