A great deal has been written and played out in the media about the Ruby Dhalla-Nanny scandal. For those of you on a desert island, Ruby Dhalla, an outspoken and very charismatic MP had allegedly hired three foreign live in caregivers (nannies), making them work 12 hour days, withholding their passports and sending them on jobs outside the home. Most concerning is the allegation that Ms. Dhalla hired these caregivers before they even received their Canadian work permits. Whether these allegations are proven true remains to be seen. But it appears that she has already been tried and convicted in the eyes of the media and her political career may have been irreparably damaged.
The important “lesson” to come out of this scandal is that if you are a prospective employer of a foreign live in caregiver, you better pay attention to the rules and regulations pertaining to the Live in Care Giver program. Live in Caregivers have rights and contrary to what some believe, they are not indentured servants. The working conditions for Nannies are prescribed by the Employment Standards Act and are outlined specifically by the HRSDC website.
At our immigration law offices in Toronto and Hamilton, we process many applications for live in caregivers. We have also written about the Live in Caregiver Program calling for stricter regulations for “Nanny Agencies” in a previous blog.
Making sure that not only do the applicants (the foreign nannies) qualify but ensuring that the employers understand their obligations to their nannys is essential.
Having a live in caregiver in your home can be a wonderful experience for you, your family members and for your nanny provided everyone plays by the rules.