The federal government announced steps Saturday to better safeguard foreign caregivers from abuse and exploitation, but opposition critics said the changes Immigration Minister Jason Kenney is proposing won’t provide full protection.
The revised regulations stem from months of consultations with caregiver groups, and Kenney expressed hope they will allow a better life for people who come to Canada to become nannies.
“To ensure they’re not subject to abusive situations, to ensure they’re not exploited by unscrupulous consultants and to ensure they have a fair, clear pathway to permanent residency,” Kenney told a news conference.
Among the changes Kenney is planning to the Live-in Caregiver Program is elimination of the requirement for caregivers to undergo a second medical exam.
The measure was proposed by Juana Tejada, a Toronto nanny who developed cancer while working as a caregiver and was initially denied permanent resident status when she failed her second medical examination.
The changes would also give nannies up to four years to complete a total of two years’ work needed to apply for landed-immigrant status. Currently the limit is three years.
The government hopes the change will prevent events like pregnancies or loss of employment from stopping live-in caregivers from meeting government requirements.
Those wanting to hire a nanny from overseas would have to pick up the cost of bringing them to Canada and provide medical coverage until the nannies are eligible for provincial health plans. They would also have to pay any fees to recruiters, Kenney said.
“No longer will caregivers be paying people to get the jobs to work in Canada,” Kenney said.
The government is also going to require caregivers’ employers to clearly outline job duties, hours of work, overtime and holidays, sick leave, and termination and resignation terms.
Employers who provide significantly different wages, working conditions or occupations than they promised may be blacklisted.
The public will have 30 days to comment on the changes before the final version takes effect sometime next year. (According to CTV News)