The live-in caregiver program has long been plagued by various problems, from the length of time it takes to process an application to potential exploitation of caregivers. The requirement that the caregiver live in the home makes it difficult to draw the line on overtime and to draw clear boundaries between caring for children and the elderly and general housekeeping duties.
Citizenship and Immigration Canada has taken a lot of criticism over the program and has taken some steps over the past couple of years to improve it and to protect live-in caregivers. Changes include:
– allowing live-in caregivers to apply for permanent residence after 3,900 work hours, rather than two years of work, to ensure overtime is appropriately recognized;
– eliminating the need for a second medical examination when the caregiver applies for permanent residence;
– increasing the amount of time a caregiver has to complete their work obligations, from three years to four;
– the adoption of a standardized employment contract that ensures both parties agree to the salary, hours of work, vacation time, overtime, holidays, sick leave, and the terms of termination and resignation;
– defining the costs the employer is obliged to pay, including the caregiver’s travel expenses in coming to Canada, medical insurance, workplace safety insurance and third-party representative fees;
– emergency processing of work permits and employer authorizations to hire live-in caregivers who have been abused and need to leave their employment immediately;
– a dedicated phone service for live-in caregivers through the department’s Call Centre;
– an assessment of:
the genuineness of the job offer, including confirmation that the caregiver would be residing in a private residence and providing child care, senior home support care or care of a disabled person in that household without supervision,
whether the employer has sufficient financial resources to pay the wages of the caregiver and,
whether the accommodations being provided are adequate; and
– a two-year period of ineligibility from hiring foreign workers, including live-in caregivers, for employers who have failed to live up to the terms of past job contracts.
If you are interested in hiring a live-in caregiver, let Premier Canadian Immigration Co-op help you navigate the new rules. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.