New rules and regulations for nannies in Canada took effect April 1st, 2011.

In case you were not aware, there are new rules and regulations governing live-in caregivers and temporary foreign workers in Canada – with a twist, as these rules also target the people who sponsor them in Canada and those who hire them.

These new rules clearly outline the government’s agenda going forward – after tightening the rules for the caregivers last year – the focus this year is on the families who sponsor, bring over to Canada and hire through the live-in caregiver program.

Effective April 1, 2011, the government will apply a more rigorous assessment of jobs for foreign workers to ensure that offers are legitimate to 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.

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.

The exploitation of the live-in caregiver program 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.

Once the two years are completed – and al the payroll made to the CRA, nannies can expect to wat up to 10 months for their permanent resident status.

So here is what you can expect to be asked if the government suspects you are doing something illegal;

They will ask for receipts to see if you paid for the flight to bring the nanny over. Failure to do so will put you on the unable to sponsor list.

Sponsoring then releasing nannies once in Canada is also a no-no.

Not having the correct paperwork – not signed contract, or failing to remit to the CRA monthly is a definite no-no.

Abusing their rights – making them work longer than allowed hours – refusing to let them have free time to go out or relax – if reported is a bad move, and yes there are some people who think a live-in caregiver is on call 24/7. So NOT true. They work regularly scheduled hours and must be paid overtime if those hours are exceeded.

And on the nannies side, failure to live-in when in Canada through the live-in caregiver program can result in them not being allowed to apply for permanent residency.

So play it safe, be respectful, and good luck.  Here is the link to the new requirements;

In addition to the standard requirements to apply for a labour market opinion (LMO) under the Live-in Caregiver Program (LCP), Human Resources and Skills Development Canada (HRSDC)/Service Canada will also evaluate the following criteria starting April 1, 2011:

  1. All employers hiring a live-in caregiver must use the new LMO application form specific to the LCP and provide:
    • the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) business number
    • an explanation of how hiring a temporary foreign worker (TFW) meets the employment needs of the employer; and
    • a signed statement attesting that the employer will abide by the LCP requirements.

    In addition to the above mentioned requirements, the following documentation must now be submitted along with the new LMO application:

    • Proof of age or disability for the person requiring care:
      • Child – long-form birth certificate or official adoption documents or medical doctor’s note confirming the pregnancy and due date of the child. The parents must submit a long form birth certificate after the child’s birth. Failure to do so may result in a refusal by Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) to issue a work permit. If these are not available, any other official document issued by a government authority demonstrating the child to parent relationship (e.g. original birth certificate for children born abroad translated into English or French).
      • Senior – birth certificate, Old Age Security Identification Card, passport or any other official documents showing the date of birth of the senior requiring care.
      • Disabled person – medical certificate – (PDF 27KB)stating that the disabled person requires care (but not the nature of disability).
    • detailed description – (PDF 38KB) of the private accommodations provided to the live-in caregiver.
    • An Option C-printout that any taxpayer can obtain from the CRA by calling 1-800-959-8281. The Option C-printout provides information on declared income from a variety of sources. In exceptional cases where the person is not required to submit taxes in Canada, the employer can submit: paystubs, bank statements, the employer- employee contract or any other official documents proving that the employer has the income necessary to pay the live-in caregiver.

    Employers may also be required to provide, if requested by HRSDC/Service Canada, a provincial workers compensation clearance letter or other appropriate provincial documentation.

  2. The genuineness of the job offer made to the live-in caregiver will be assessed based on whether the employer:
    • demonstrates a reasonable need for a full-time live-in caregiver to provide child care, elder care or care for a disabled person;
    • can provide adequate, private accommodations to the live-in caregiver;
    • has sufficient financial resources to pay the live-in caregiver.
    • the employer, or the third party representative who recruited the live-in caregiver on behalf of the employer, must be compliant with the relevant federal-provincial/territorial employment and recruitment legislation.
  3. All returning employers must demonstrate that they have met the terms and conditions of employment set out in previous LMO confirmation letters and annexes (if applicable). In addition, some employers may be required to submit documentation to support a more detailed employer compliance review, including any or all of the following documents:
    • payroll records;
    • time sheets;
    • job descriptions;
    • copies of the employer-employee contract;
    • receipts for private health insurance (if applicable);
    • provincial workers compensation clearance letter or other appropriate provincial documentation;
    • receipts for transportation costs; and
    • information about accommodations provided by the employer.

    If it appears that the employer did not fully uphold the terms and conditions of employment set out in the LMO confirmation letter and annex (if applicable), the employer will have the opportunity to provide a rationale. In this case, HRSDC/Service Canada will work with the employer to implement the appropriate corrective action, which may include providing compensation to the live-in caregiver. Employers may be found non-compliant if they refuse to provide a rationale and/or provide only partial compensation to the live-in caregiver.

    If the employer is found to be non-compliant:

    • HRSDC/Service Canada may issue a negative LMO and revoke all positions on confirmed LMOs for which work permits have not yet been issued by CIC
    • CIC may deem the employer ineligible to hire TFWs for two years. The employer’s name, address and period of ineligibility may also be published on a list of ineligible employers posted on CIC Web site.

So in a nutshell, it is going to be that much more difficult to hire a live-in caregiver on your own.  Spend the money and go through a registered agency and make sure you have everything you need, or prepare to be banned.

223 thoughts on “New rules and regulations for nannies in Canada took effect April 1st, 2011.

  1. Hello Urban Daddy!

    I am a graduate of nursing, male 35 years old, single, and currently working here in Israel as Live in Driver/Caregiver for 2 years now for a disabled person. My cousin who is already a Canadian Citizen would like to hire me as caregiver for their daughter.

    Could you please provide some insight as to the pros and cons when it comes to hiring a relative / being hired by a relative? As well, is it be possible that I might be denied entry into the program because my experience was only in disabled care, and not in child care?

    Hope to hear from you and more power!


  2. Having a nanny can go two ways!

    First, If you come across a good nanny then its a blessing and take care of her and everyone will be happy. Second way is you buy a lot of stress no matter how much you try to care for her so that she can be happy and can provide care to your child in your absence.

    We had upfront cost to get nanny here – Agency fee + LMO fee + Ticket + Oversees calls for interview, reference check, conversation with future nanny till waiting period to understand her and ensure that we have the right one

    After a wait of 10 months she arrived. We provided her with winter clothing (jacket, snow boots, cap, gloves) plus I hooked her into our WIFI so that she can stay in touch with her friends and family and not get home sick to some extent. That was a happy time for everyone.

    During here first week we overheard her conversation since she was talking loud enough on her smartphone in her native language but using lot of English words we were able to understand that she is on job hunting and planing to leave soon. We were shocked. All those conversations, smiles, etc were lies. After her work hours we sat down with her. Within 2 minutes she admitted that she is looking for another job and reason was she need more money. We bumped her pay and she got happy and said she will finish her contract. We also told her if she finishes her contract we will give her bonus at the end of her contract which would be equal to your air fair. To celebrate we all went for ice cream.

    During weekends she used to go out with her friends and come back on Sunday night. She had house keys. After month and a half she again started cribbing about her pay. We ignored it. After a week she complained how much she gets exhausted and need more breaks. We get weekend cleaners to clean home. She only had to make fresh meal for child, do laundry for child and vacuum main area in the house where our kid spend most of the time. I can vacuum that area within 3 minutes. Yes, she has to play with the child and when weather permits she takes the child out.

    Its 6 months now, every month twice she complains about something and will let us know that she is not happy. From last 3 months she have started threatening us that she will quit. This is so…stressful…

    When last time she said she is quitting we said you can give us your resignation and complete one month from the date of resignation as per contract and finally she has given her resignation. Couple of more weeks and we will be off the hook…. hurray….

    During visa processing wait time we tried doing our due diligence but she out smarted us.

    We are looking into day cares now for our child as we do not want to buy this level of stress.

    I don’t know what friend is giving her advise not knowing any rules and she is following her.

    After pouring out here i feel much better!

    After reading my experience it does not mean all are like that. There had been good experiences in our friends circle which encouraged us. Thats why I said it in the beginning that if you find good one then consider yourself lucky and take proper care. Good Luck.


    1. Wow, William. That is a horror story. Yes, some get really crappy advice, and that sucks for the person / people who spend all the time and emotional currency to bring them over here with the intentions of helping them build a better life.

      The latest changes to the Live-In Caregiver Program were aimed at 1) Stopping the program from being used to reunify families and 2) To provide a way for employers to report this type of behaviour.

      We all know that with such demands, it is very likely that this caregiver will end up applying for EI while working for cash, and that double dipping of the system results in higher taxes on everyone.

      A client of mine was in a similar situation and faced with the same stress, he fired the Caregiver, giving that reason on her Record Of Employment (the ROE is the official notification to the government that a caregiver is no longer working) meaning that she could not collect EI and was unable to work for cash because she needed to report the hours in order to be eligible for her papers.

      I hope everything works out for you and your family.



  3. yah im one of those nanny who work 24/7 and employer pay only 8 hrs and still not yet sucks having this kind of employer but what can we do nothing just bear it until my p.r process.thiers no different from working in hongkong to Canada.


  4. Hi Urban daddy
    Need to ask something…
    Can a male living out side of Canada be sponsored as a Live in care giver for children by:
    a) His Canadian relatives.
    b) Any other Canadian.


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