The new rules will bring tighter scrutiny to families trying to hire a foreign nanny. Effective April 1, 2011, the government will apply a more rigorous assessment of jobs for foreign workers to ensure that offers are legitimate.
That assessment will consider whether employers have followed the rules in the past before they can hire a nanny or temporary foreign worker. A bad track record could lead to a denial of the necessary permits to hire foreign workers.
Employers who fail to meet their commitments to workers with respect to wages and working conditions will face a two-year prohibition on hiring foreign workers.
‘The government is taking action to protect temporary foreign workers, including live-in caregivers, from potential abuse and exploitation.’— Jason Kenney, immigration minister
There will also be a four-year limit on the amount of time a foreign worker can be employed in Canada. Once that limit is reached, the workers must return home and wait four years before they can work in Canada again.
That limit does not affect eligibility for permanent residence.
“The government is taking action to protect temporary foreign workers, including live-in caregivers, from potential abuse and exploitation,” explained immigration minister Jason Kenney.
“We owe it to them, their employers and all Canadians to ensure that the program is fair and equitable.”
Immigration minister Jason Kenney says the changes are intended to protect nannies from exploitation. (Adrian Wyld/Canadian Press)According to the federal government, consultations held over the past two years revealed that employers were exploiting some live-in caregivers because the system made them vulnerable.
That led to a first round of changes that took effect in April 2010 and mandated that employment contracts must spell out wages, benefits, accommodation, duties, hours of work and holiday and sick leave entitlements.
Those changes also added some flexibility to the amount of time given to live-in caregivers or nannies to meet the requirements needed for permanent residence status.
Under the law, caregivers can apply for permanent status after two years of regular full-time employment. With the changes, that time frame can be sped up if the person works a lot of overtime or can be extended if they work less than full-time hours or need time off because of illness or factors.