Protection for nannies

TheStar.com – Opinion/Editorial – Protection for nannies
Published On Thu Oct 22 2009

It took seven months and a serious change of heart. But the Ontario government is finally getting serious about protecting live-in caregivers from routine exploitation.

Many of the more than 20,000 nannies in Ontario arrive here deep in debt after paying thousands of dollars in fees to recruiters, who often lure them with phantom job offers.

Now, legislation introduced by Labour Minister Peter Fonseca would ban recruiters from charging nannies any fees, with stiff penalties of up to $50,000 for violators. The bill would also bar employers from trying to pass through recruitment costs to nannies, and prosecute any other intermediaries trying to collect fees.

This is progress. When nanny abuses were first given prominence last March in a series of stories by Star reporters Dale Brazao and Robert Cribb, the labour minister tried to wash his hands of the issue. Fonseca argued that it was up to Ottawa to act – despite the fact that employment standards are primarily a provincial responsibility.

If passed, the new law would ban reprisals and specifically outlaw employers or recruiters taking a nanny’s passport, work permit or other property. The bill would also beef up enforcement. It’s about time.

< http://www.thestar.com/opinion/editorials/article/713931–protection-for-nannies >.

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