After you apply: get next steps – Hire a live-in caregiver
Once you have hired a caregiver under the Live-in Caregiver Program, you must meet a number of conditions.
Your responsibilities as an employer
As an employer participating in the Live-in Caregiver Program, you must provide:
- acceptable working conditions
- reasonable duties
- fair market wages
- private accommodation, such as a room with a lock on the door, and
- a key to the house so that they have free access.
Your caregiver pays rent for a room in your home and is entitled to privacy. You should not enter the caregiver’s room without permission. Your house is your employee’s home as well as his or her workplace. You should respect the caregiver’s cultural or religious practices and discuss his or her needs.
A live-in caregiver is protected by employment standards legislation in most provinces and territories. For instance, they are entitled to:
- days off each week
- statutory holidays
- extra pay for overtime work, and
- a salary that meets at least the minimum wage.
It is your responsibility to find out what these standards are and to respect the laws of your province or territory. For more information, see Provincial and territorial labour standards.
Contact your provincial or territorial authorities to find out how to provide medical insurance for your employee. You may be required to pay premiums or a health tax on your employee’s behalf. You cannot deduct health premiums or taxes from their wages.
Live-in caregivers have the right to be covered under workers’ compensation laws in most provinces and territories. You are responsible for arranging for your caregiver’s compensation when they arrive in Canada.
Workers’ compensation is an employer’s insurance plan. You should ensure that your employee is covered in case he or she is injured on the job. Contact your local workers’ compensation office for more information.
Your legal responsibilities
If you hire a live-in caregiver, you are required by federal law to register as an employer with the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA). When you register, the CRA will give you an information guide with the necessary forms and instructions.
You must give your employee a record of employment (ROE) when the employee’s work term with you finishes. You will not be able to get the ROE unless you are registered as an employer.
All employers in Canada must keep written records of workers’ employment. You must keep records of an employee’s earnings and give them a statement of earnings with each pay cheque. The statement should show your employee’s gross and net pay, specific deductions, the purpose of these deductions, and the total hours worked (including overtime) during that pay period.
You must also give your employee a T4 slip for the previous year’s employment by the end of February each year. The T4 slip will show your employee’s total gross earnings and total deductions for income tax purposes. Your employee will require the T4 to file an annual income tax return.
You must deduct from your employee’s pay:
- income tax
- Employment Insurance premiums, and
- Canada (or Quebec, if applicable) Pension Plan contributions.
You must regularly remit these deductions to the CRA. Check with provincial or territorial authorities or the ESDC/Service Canada centre about other deductions such as workers’ compensation and health insurance.
For more information, see CRA website – Payroll.
Room and board
Room charges are calculated on a weekly or monthly basis, depending on the conditions of the employment contract. Whether you may deduct room and board directly from your employee’s pay cheque may be governed by provincial or territorial employment standards laws.
Charges for meals not eaten by your employee in your home cannot be deducted from his or her pay.
Helping your employee adjust
Your caregiver may have trouble adjusting to living in a private home in a new country. Although the relationship between you and your employee is a professional one, you should do all that you can as an employer to help them adjust to life in Canada. You can refer your employee to agencies or other organizations that may offer support.
Ending a contract with an employee
If your employee is unwilling or unable, without just cause, to perform the job duties as stated in the contract, you can terminate the contract.
You may have agreed in the contract to give a notice of termination. If you cannot give the caregiver notice as per the contract, you can pay the employee for the period the notice would have covered. Whether or not your contract requires you to give notice or pay in lieu of notice, you may be liable for it under provincial or territorial laws.
You must notify the ESDC/Service Canada centre if you no longer need the services of your caregiver.
If you need to find a replacement for your employee, you must apply for a new LMIA from ESDC/Service Canada.
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