Canadian Live-in Caregiver Program Services: Why using Service Canada’s Contract makes sense

With Canada’s Temporary Foreign Worker Program under attack again as a result of RBC’s announced plan to lay off Canadian employees and hire employees overseas, it’s important to understand that this program also has the Canadian Live-in Caregiver Program (LICP) as a part of it, and that program is essential to working Canadian parents who need to hire a Live-in Caregiver (nanny) from overseas for cost efficient reasons.  The LICP provides opportunity for parents to sponsor and bring trained, educated nannies from overseas, who live in their homes and work for them at a wage very close to the minimum wage.

At the outset, many feel that these nannies are being taken advantage of, however, I see it differently.  Yes, there are employers who ask their employees to work long hours, and do tasks which are outside of the normal requrements of the program, but there are also opportunities for these nannies to speak up and have this addressed, and the outcome is that the employer is banned from using the program.  Times have changed and thankfully this government has also changed the program to make it harder for employers to scam the system and also more difficult for employees to scam their employers.  Of course, there are exceptions…

One big way that employers and employees can start this relationship on the right foot is by following the rules of the LICP, and making sure that the employer and the employee know exactly what they are required to be doing during their time in the program and also to make sure that the employee and employer are also moving forward with plan for once the program ends so that the employee is making smart decisions about their future and the employer is able to assist and know where they stand regarding their caregiver.

At Intaxicating Tax Solutions, we are on the leading edge around requirements and changes to this program as we offer assistance at every stage of the process – from deciding whether to sponsor a nanny through this program, or hiring a live-out caregiver already in Canada, to the setting up and payroll account with the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA), networking, course suggestions for caregivers and dispute resolution surrounding tasks, requirements and working hours.  Our website is www.intaxicating.ca and you can find plenty of materials written by us around the program on the web.

With all that being said, I thought it might be useful to post the link to Service Canada‘s Live-In Caregiver contract.

The best way to get a working arrangement off on the right foot is by making sure that the employer and employee are both clear around requirements and what happens if these requirements need to be adjusted.  As a contract is a requiremt of the program for sponsoring a live-in caregiver, those hiring live-out caregivers and those nannies who are living in, but not through a formal program like the LICP, also benefit from having a formal contract in place to keep requirements clear.

The contact forms the basis of a legal agreement between employer and employee as to what is expected and agreed upon by both sides and is used in case of disagreement to support the previously agreed upon terms.  Before employment begins both parties have to agree to all the work arrangements in the contract which should outline every detail from hours worked, to amounts renumerated to specific tasks and vacation pay.  It’s like going to get a job anywhere else in the world, where you sign the contact before your employer agrees to hire you and having a formalized contract as part of this program helps prevent employers from taking advantage of nannies and allows nannies to understand what they are getting into to before they agree to start work.

Too often I hear and read about employers who think their live-in nannies are on call 24/7 at their disposal to take care of them and their kids, and their house and their pets…  I also hear and read in parenting groups about employers placing curfews on their nannies, or making them address you as Mr. or Mrs. like they are a servant. Most of it is not allowed and some of it is just not right. If you accepted a job working at a top law firm, or in the warehouse of WalMart would you allow for them to treat you like that?  I suspect that answer is no.

Now that the contract is part of the application process – prospective nannies who come to apply to the program here, http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/work/caregiver/apply-how.asp, now understand that there are tight guidelines governing their requirements and rights, as well as the employers.  Nannies MUST sign a written contract with their future employer, and the employer must also sign the contact which is them submitted together with the positive Labour Market Opinion (LMO).

The positive LMO is issued to the employer by the government after a lengthy review of the submitted documents where the information is verified, a phone interview is conducted, and if everything checks out, the employer is deemed to be a suitable employer who has followed all the government requirements and regulations for the LICP.  Employers must also provide to the government their payroll BN number with the CRA, and have available suitable space in their home for a nanny to live, and prove that they have children in need of caring for and the financial capabilities to support a nanny.

The contract must be the same employment contract submitted to HRSDC/SC by your employer, unless you provide an explanation of any changes (for example, a new start date).

The written employment contract will ensure there is a fair working arrangement between you and your employer. The employment contract must demonstrate that the Live-in Caregiver Program requirements are met by including a description of:

•mandatory employer-paid benefits, including:

◦transportation to Canada from your country of permanent residence or the country of habitual residence to the location of work in Canada

◦medical insurance coverage provided from the date of your arrival until you are eligible for provincial health insurance

◦workplace safety insurance coverage for the duration of the employment

◦all recruitment fees, including any amount payable to a third-party recruiter or agents hired by the employer that would otherwise have been charged to you

•job duties

•hours of work

•wages

•accommodation arrangements (including room and board)

•holiday and sick leave entitlements

•termination and resignation terms

The contract the government is expecting to see does not have to look exactly like the one provided for in the link – that one is merely a template – but it must contain all the information and clauses indicated as mandatory and the use of an alternate contract format may cause delays to the processing of the LMO application as HRSDC and Service Canada officers will need to determine if the contract complies with LCP requirements.  A copy of that contract can be found here.

Before you jump into hiring an employee through the Canadian Live-in Caregiver program, or someone already in Canada, make sure that you have all the requirements covered and that you and your employer are on the same page.  If you would like further information or have questions, please feel free to post them in the comment section, or contact us at info@intaxicatingtaxservices.ca.  You can find details around our T4/T4 summary services, our payroll services or our consultation services on our website or by contacting us.

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Author: Warren Orlans

Welcome to inTAXicating. My name is Warren Orlans and this is my blog. With over 17-years experience in the taxation industry, 11 of them working for the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA), and the rest working in the private sector at large financial institutions responsible for resolving tax issues for corporations and individuals and the Canadian lead for a large US bank on FATCA implementation. My tax career began pretty much out of university at the CRA, in Collections, where I moved up, across, over and up again through their division with stops in Enforcement, Taxpayer Relief (then Fairness), Audit, Directors Liability, Training, Mentoring, GST, GST/HST, Payroll, Corporate Tax, Personal tax, and probably much more. If you have a collections, compliance or audit issue with the CRA, MRQ, IRS or with the CRTC, WSIB or any aspect of those agencies, inTAXicating is the place you need to contact. inTAXicating has entered into a strategic partnership with Goldhar and Associates, to create Goldhar Tax Solutions. This partnership allows my team to include amazing tax lawyers, insolvency practitioners, mortgage brokers, debt counselling experts and much more. When dealing with governments, knowledge is power. We possess strong understanding of government so we know what the next step is before the government does. When you have a collections problem with the CRA, do you hire a graphic artist? No, you get a former collector who trained the staff, and who worked as a resource officer for 5 years. Then you know you are on the right track to resolving your tax problem(s). Others offer suggestions. We offer solutions! tax@goldhar.ca

11 thoughts on “Canadian Live-in Caregiver Program Services: Why using Service Canada’s Contract makes sense”

  1. I am interested in hiring a caregiver however her work experience is from 2010-2011. The program requirement states that the employment experience needs to be within the three years of applying for the work permit. Does the three years count from when she started or from when she completed her employment? This will make or break whether or not she qualifies.
    Thank u!

    Like

    1. Hi Anna,

      Sorry for the delay. I contacted Service Canada and HRSDC Canada and they have come back with slightly different answers but essentially she needs to have been a caregiver and had recent and relevant experiences within the last 3 years, so listing caregiver on a tax return while working in an IT department is not relevant whereas working with an elderly person but looking to take care of newborns is recent but only somewhat relevant.

      The question you have to ask yourself is, are you comfortable hiring someone to look after your children who may not be in that field now, or may not even like that field, or even worse may be using that field to get into Canada and as soon as 2-years passes and she receives permanent residence she is gone.

      I would look for someone who loves their job and wants to be the best they can be in the role and in their life.

      Best of luck and I hope whatever choice you made, it works out!

      Warren

      Like

      1. Hi Waren,

        I would like to discuss with you more about the demand for foreign workers in Canada. I am currently doing a business research and I think your knowledge about this subject will be very helpful. Let me know if you will be interested to discuss. I was hoping you’ll get my email from this comment and you can reply to me directly. If not please let me know.

        Thanks!

        All the best,

        Kristin Flores

        Like

    2. You will also have to go through the advertisement process and then apply for a LMO. To calculate the three years, if for example her starting date is June 2013, her experience has to be between 2010 to 2013. how this helps, I know this reply is 7 months late but what the hell !!!

      Tracy

      Like

  2. I think it is brilliant that someone has put this out there for everyone employer and employee alike to see. I can guess that more often than not one or both parties are negligent of the proper laws and contractual agreements. I think its sad that so many are exploited and I am happy to see things being done about it. Thanks for your post it was extremely informative.

    Like

  3. 8 January, 2014

    Hi, Warren,

    Was delighted to read your article on ‘live in caregiver program’. I am in the process of hiring one to look after my three year child and also to help the worker attain Permanent Resident status. Would like your thoughts on some of the finer points:

    1. On the requirement on Experience, when they mention related experience – does a kindergarten school teacher with 7 years of continues experience and a Daycare management Diploma, qualify to look after young children.

    2. On the question of Multiple Employers –
    a) can my father or my mother be the second employer on the application for a ‘live in caregiver ‘ for my three year old daughter.
    b) Also how would the low income cut offs apply e.g the size of my family unit is 3 persons including my daughter, (which comes to a gross salary of 36,193) while my father/ mother’s family unit consists of 5 persons ( calculated to 49,839 as the low income cut off) the live in caregiver = 15,638 @ 10.86/hr
    c) how much minimum gross salary do we have to report to qualify to hire a live in care giver?

    Please let have a reply as soon as possible.

    Sincerely,

    Tracy

    Like

  4. Hi Warren,

    missed one more point. Let me know how the process of advertisement work. What points are favored for a positive LMO.

    Thanks once again.

    Tracy

    Like

    1. Hello Tracy,

      Thank you for your comments earlier and I hope that I am able to answer your questions as I have some questions to throw back to you. If I miss something or if you need further clarification, please ask, or if you feel better emailing me, you can do so at worlans@intaxicating.ca.

      1) When you ask about experience are you asking about what kind of experience will the government accept, or the best type of experience to look for in a live-in Caregiver? If you are asking about what the government will accept, there is a fantastic link in the Canadian Immigration website outlining the requirements for a worker to be eligible for the program and the link is right here; http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/work/caregiver/apply-who.asp

      As for #2a) I would refer to this link and this http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/work/apply-who-caregiver.asp and this link (HRSDC Canada) http://www.hrsdc.gc.ca/eng/jobs/foreign_workers/caregiver/, in case you have not already.

      They do state that you and your parents are able to both be employers provided you both provide proof of income at the time of applying for the Labour Market Opinion, and according to the chart provided – and not sure where you reside – it appears that the income threshold would be very close. (Calculator: http://www.hrsdc.gc.ca/eng/jobs/foreign_workers/caregiver/calculator.shtml).

      The best way, honestly, is to proceed with the Labour Market Opinion and have the government tell you how close you are if you are not yet eligible. Just make sure that you prepare for the LMO interview.

      On the final question about the advertising, we had used an agency for the sponsoring of our first 2 live-in caregivers, opting instead to advertise ourselves the tird time through and what must happen here is that you must be able to prove that you advertised locally, met and interviewed people here and that after that exhaustive process, opted to hire from overseas (again presuming that this is where your caregiver will be coming from).

      Now after all that… Did you already have someone in mind to sponsor from overseas and if so are you able to wait the 9 months or a year for the application process to run its course or are you looking locally but need to sponsor from here?

      Hope this helps.

      Warren

      Like

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