November 2014: Canadian Government says no real need for live in care ! Or pay more and hire a Canadian live in caregiver !
Below email was sent from Minister Alexander ‘s office :
This is in reply to your correspondence of October 27, 2014, addressed to Mr. Chris Alexander, Canada’s Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, concerning the Live-in Caregiver Program (LCP).
The LCP has been a feature of Canada’s immigration system for many years as a component of the Temporary Foreign Worker Program. The LCP enables Canadian employers to recruit foreign nationals to live and work in their homes to provide childcare or home support for seniors or people with disabilities when there is a shortage of Canadians or permanent residents to fill available positions.
Since 2010, a number of improvements have been made to the LCP in an effort to address a variety of challenges. These improvements have included:
o making open work permits available to caregivers as soon as they apply for permanent residence, rather than waiting until their PR application has received first-stage approval;
o 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;
o eliminating the need for a second medical examination when the caregiver applies for permanent residence;
o increasing the amount of time a caregiver has to complete their work obligations, from three years to four;
o adopting 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;
o 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;
o emergency processing of work permits and employer authorizations to hire live-in caregivers who have been abused and need to leave their employment immediately;
o a dedicated phone service for live-in caregivers through the department’s Call Centre; and
o 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, as well as whether the employer has sufficient financial resources to pay the wages of the caregiver and whether the accommodations being provided are adequate.
I have noted your concerns over the consultations before the recent changes to the Caregiver Program. As you may know, Minister Alexander has held roundtables and met with stakeholders on the Caregiver Program over the past year. Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) has also held focus groups across the country to better inform the development of these reforms.
The Government is not preventing Canadians from hiring live-in caregivers. Canadians who feel they need to hire a caregiver on a live-in basis may hire other Canadians or permanent residents, or by making those types of arrangements at appropriate wages with temporary foreign workers, when no Canadians or permanent residents are available. The reforms simply mean that a caregiver’s permanent resident status will no longer be linked to where they sleep at night while completing the work requirements of the Caregiver Program.
More than 99% of Canadian families were able to meet their care needs without requiring a caregiver to live in their home. These reforms will ensure that Canadians working in this field are not passed over for caregiving jobs and when there truly are no Canadians available, the opportunity is still there to hire a temporary foreign worker.
If a caregiver chooses to leave the home of their employer, they have that option. This would mean, however, that they could only apply for permanent residence through one of the additional pathways, provided they meet the criteria of one or the other and have completed the work requirement. For more information on the Caregiver Program, please visit the CIC Website at http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/work/new_measures_work.asp.
A live-in arrangement will still be possible through the additional pathways, as well, on the condition that both the caregiver and employer have agreed to the arrangement.
Thank you for writing and expressing your concerns. I trust that this information is of assistance.
Ministerial Enquiries Division