Print Print This Page

Employers and Recruiters of Live-in Caregivers: What you need to know

Introduction

The Employment Protection for Foreign Nationals Act (Live-in Caregivers and Others), 2009 (EPFNA) covers:

  • foreign nationals working as live-in caregivers or looking for work as live-in caregivers (Caregivers),
  • those who recruit or attempt to recruit foreign nationals for positions as live-in caregivers (Recruiters), and
  • those who employ foreign nationals in positions as live-in caregivers (Employers).

The EPFNA is in addition to the protections that foreign national live-in caregivers have under the Employment Standards Act, 2000 (ESA). More information on these standards is available at Ontario.ca/EPFNA.

The EPFNA will be enforced by the Ministry of Labour through various methods, including responding to complaints by live-in caregivers. Additional information, described below, is available to live-in caregivers to ensure they are aware of their rights.

For Recruiters

Fees

EPFNA prohibits Recruiters from charging ANY fees to Caregivers for ANY service, directly or indirectly. The prohibition includes, but is not restricted to, fees for:

  • finding or attempting to find employment for Caregivers
  • assisting Caregivers with resume writing, interview preparation or any other activity related to job placement
  • assisting Caregivers with immigration matters

Recruiters may still charge fees to Employers but they cannot make arrangements with Employers whereby Employers recover from Caregivers all or part of the fees they paid to the Recruiters.

A Recruiter who charges fees can be ordered to return the fees to the Caregiver and can be prosecuted for an offence with, for individuals, a maximum fine of $50,000 and 12-months imprisonment. Corporations may be subject to even larger fines.

Record keeping

Recruiters must record:

  • the names of the Caregivers they place and attempt to place in employment
  • the names and addresses of Employers and potential employers
  • the amount of any fee paid to the Recruiter
  • the date and reason for the payment

Other protections

Recruiters are also prohibited from taking or keeping any personal property of the Caregivers, including:

  • passports
  • work permits
  • birth certificates

Information sheets

Recruiters must supply Caregivers with:

  • an information sheet that sets out their rights under EPFNA; and
  • an information sheet that sets out their rights under the ESA (which sets minimum standards in areas such as minimum wage, time off and hours of work).

The information sheets are also available in:

    • English
    • French
    • Filipino
    • Hindi
    • Spanish

If the Caregiver’s first language is one of these languages, the Recruiter must supply both the English version and the translated document.

No opting out and no reprisal

Recruiters cannot ask Caregivers to opt out of their rights under EPFNA or under the ESA

Recruiters cannot threaten, intimidate or punish anyone for asserting his or her rights under this Act or under the ESA

More information

For more information on how Recruiters are affected by the new law, contact the Employment Standards Information Centre at (416) 326-7160 (toll-free at 1-800-531-5551) or, for the hearing impaired, at TTY 1-866-567-8893. Information is available in multiple languages.

For employers

Fees

EPFNA prohibits Employers from recovering recruitment fees or other placement costs from Caregivers.

An Employer who charges fees can be ordered to return the fees to the Caregiver and can be prosecuted for an offence with, for individuals, a maximum fine of $50,000 and 12-months imprisonment. Corporations may be subject to even larger fines.

Other protections

Employers are also prohibited from taking or keeping any personal property of the Caregivers, including:

  • passports
  • work permits
  • birth certificates

Information sheets

If an Employer does not use the services of a recruiter they must supply the Caregivers with:

  • An information sheet that sets out their rights under EPFNA; and
  • An information sheet that sets out their rights under the ESA. (which sets minimum standards in areas such as minimum wage, time off and hours of work.)

The information sheets are also available in:

    • English
    • French
    • Filipino
    • Hindi
    • Spanish

If the Caregiver’s first language is one of these languages, the Employer must supply both the English version and the translated document.

The Employment Standards Poster

Whether or not an employer uses the services of a recruiter, the employer must post a copy of the Ministry’s Employment Standards Poster in the Caregiver’s workplace and effective May 20, 2015 must also provide their Caregiver employees with a copy of the poster within 30 days of their date of hire. Any Caregivers already employed on May 20, 2015 were entitled to receive a copy of the poster from their employer by June 19, 2015. For more details regarding these obligations including the obligation to provide a translated copy of the poster and to obtain a copy of the most recent version of the poster, see Ontario.ca/ESAposter.

No opting out and no reprisal

Employers cannot ask Caregivers to opt out of their rights under this Act or under the ESA

Employers cannot threaten, intimidate or punish anyone for asserting his or her rights under this Act or under the ESA.

The ESA and other obligations

Employers are required to follow the ESA that sets minimum standards in areas such as:

  • minimum wage;
  • time off; and;
  • hours of work.

To learn more about Employer obligations, see Your Guide to the Employment Sandards Act, 2000, or contact the Employment Standards Information Centre at: 416-326-7160, 1-800-531-5551 (toll free) or 1-866-567-8893 for hearing impaired TTY. Information is available in multiple languages.

There are also obligations for Employers under federal legislation. For further information visit the Employment and Social Development Canada website.

To learn more about the Employment Protection for Foreign Nationals Act (Live-in Caregivers and Others), 2009 visit Ontario.ca/EPFNA.