This section is applicable to live-in caregivers or domestic workers.
This fact sheet serves to outline employment standards legislation applicable to live-in caregivers in each province or territory.
The federal government has the responsibility for running the Live-in Caregiver Program (LCP). However, the employment standards legislation pertaining to caregivers and domestic workers remains within provincial and territorial jurisdiction. As such, federal legislation applies only to certain specific sectors such as:
- Interprovincial and international transportation
- Grain handling and,
- Uranium mines
It is worth mentioning that federal legislation in this section typically refers to the Canada Labour Code and the regulations.
Officers would need to note that the provisions specified in provincial and territorial employment standards legislation and their scope could vary from one jurisdiction to another. This means that the minimum working conditions prescribed by law will not be identical across Canada for live-in caregivers or domestic workers.
Under the provisions specified in the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA) and Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations (IRPR), employers and live-in caregivers will need to sign an employment contract. This employment contract would need to clearly define the rights and responsibilities of both parties. In addition, the terms and conditions of the employment contract will need to, by law, be consistent with the provincial or territorial employment standards and labour laws. It is worth mentioning that in some provinces and territories, employment standards legislation does not, in whole or in part, apply to live-in caregivers. As such, some provinces or territories might not specify any minimum wage applicable for these individuals. In this scenario, Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) will determine the wage rate that employers will need to pay. In some parts of the country, Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) requires employers to pay wages that are higher than the minimum wage rate, based on the prevailing wages paid for this kind of work.
Readers would need to visit the website of Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) for obtaining information on Regional Wages, Working Conditions and Advertisement Requirements for the Live-in Caregiver Program.
It is worth highlighting that New Brunswick’s Employment Standards Act and Regulations do not apply to people working in private homes. As such, live-in caregivers have no protection under provincial employment standards legislation. This makes it all the more important for employers to specify in detail all the working conditions in the employment contract.
Newfoundland and Labrador
Northwest Territories and Nunavut
Prince Edward Island
The Live-in Caregiver Program (LCP) operates in a different manner in Quebec, when compared to the other provinces and territories. Under the provisions specified in the Canada – Quebec Accord, Quebec plays a role in the selection of foreign workers. As such, in order to work in Quebec, caregivers will need to obtain a Certificat d’acceptation du Québec (CAQ). This is contingent, in part, on the signing of an employment contract between the employee and the employer. The Act respecting labour standards does not apply to employees whose exclusive duty is to provide care in a dwelling, to a child or to a sick, disabled or aged person. This is in accordance with the provisions specified in section 3 (2) of the Act. However, the provisions of the Act might cover live-in caregivers as long as they also do housework, which:
- Forms a small part of their overall duties and,
- Is indirectly related to the immediate needs of the care recipient
In such cases, the provisions deem these individuals to be domestics.
Saskatchewan’s Labour Standards Act and Regulations do not apply in the same manner to care providers as they do to domestic workers. This is because both these categories have their own definitions. As such, the minimum employment standards also vary depending on whether or not the employee lives with the employer.
Most provisions of the Employment Standards Act apply only to domestics. This also includes all domestic homemakers. However, the Employment Standards Act does not cover sitters working in a private residence solely to attend to a child, or to a disabled, infirm or another person (General Exemption Regulations).