The Live-in Caregiver Program is a special government program, whose objective is to bring workers to Canada to do live-in work as Caregivers, when there are not enough Canadians to fill the available positions. A live-in Caregiver is someone who provides care to children, the elderly or the disabled in a private household.

Major Changes to the Live-in Caregiver Program

There have been significant federal and provincial changes to the Live-in Caregiver program recently and it is important that you are familiar with these prior to making any decisions to hire your next caregiver. As a result of these changes, it is now the employer’s responsibility to pay for the caregiver’s cost of coming to Canada such as her recruitment and training fees, flight cost and private health insurance. 

Here are the details of the new legislation:

Employment Protection for Foreign Nationals Act (EPFNA) – applies only to Employers in Ontario -
Came into effect in Ontario March 23, 2010

  • prohibits recruiters from charging any fees to caregivers
  • prevents employers from recovering placement costs from the caregiver
  • Prohibits employers and recruiters from taking caregiver’s property, including documents such as a passport or work permit.
  • Prohibits a recruiter, an employer, or a person acting on their behalf from intimidating or penalizing a live-in caregiver for asking about or asserting their rights under the Act.
  • Requires recruiters and employers to distribute information sheets to live-in caregivers.  If the Caregiver’s first language is one of these languages, the Recruiter must supply both the English version and the translated document. If the caregiver is already in Canada, the employer must provide the sheets to the caregiver.

Federal Changes to LCP - applies to all employers in Canada
Came into effect April 1st, 2010
Changes Overview

  • mandatory health-care insurance, and provincial workplace safety paid by Employer
  • Caregiver’s transportation costs, including one-way flight must be paid by the Canadian Employer
  • no third party recruitment fees charged by recruiters to Caregivers
  • more comprehensive work contract outlining specific details of the job offer

How do these changes affect our existing Families?

  • All Ontario Employers must provide info sheets to their Caregiver about EPFNA
  • SNI will still honour the 3-month free replacement guarantee, however the Employer will now have to pay for the replacement Caregiver’s recruitment fee of $1,500 and the cost of her flight to Canada

How do these changes affect our repeat Families?

  • All repeat families will get a 25% discount off the current placement fee of $2,695

How do these changes affect our new Families?

  • All new families will be required to pay the full placement fee, which includes the caregiver’s recruitment fee, plus they will be responsible for the payment of the Caregiver’s flight to Canada, private health insurance coverage until the provincial plan kicks in, and provincial Workplace Safety Insurance
  • All new families will be required to use the mandatory Work Contract
  • All new families must provide their foreign live-in caregivers with signed documentation clearly identifying any regular and overtime hours worked. (This allows the caregiver to choose to count these hours toward the requirement for an application for permanent residence)

If you feel that these regulations have made hiring a live-in caregiver unaffordable for your family, or you think they are one-sided and put you at risk of being taken advantage of, please contact the following government officials and have your voice heard:

Prime Minister Stephen Harper 
Email address:, Fax number: (613) 941-6900

Hon. Jason Kenney, Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism
Email address:, Fax number: (613) 992-1920

Mr. Peter Fonseca, Ontario Minister of Labour
Email address:, Fax number: (905) 238-4918

Click here for a sample complaint letter.

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