Caregivers Finally Catch A Break
Talk about a change of heart.
A few months back my blog dealt with the negative commentary emanating from Canadian government officials and targeting live-in caregivers, also known as the extended Filipino community in Canada.
Lo and behold, last week the very same government announced significant reforms to the caregiver program that can only be seen as hugely beneficial to the caregivers themselves.
Changes to the program include ending the live-in requirement. It will remain an option, but will no longer be mandatory. No longer will caregivers be forced to sleep where they work and have their wages garnished for room and board. It’s about time.
Of utmost importance to caregivers is the length of time they are separated from their spouses and children back home. As it stands now, a caregiver must first complete two years of full-time work in Canada before applying for Canadian permanent residence status and including their immediate family members in the application. Processing times are long and, in some cases, extend well beyond three years. Currently, there are 60,000 applications awaiting a decision. The government has committed to clear the backlog completely by 2016. A cap of 5,500 applications per year has now been imposed, with the goal of processing permanent resident applications within six months. If this goes as planned, it will be a praiseworthy accomplishment.
As I have stated previously, caregivers are dedicated, hard-working individuals. They do the type of work that Canadians shun, at any reasonable wage. I, for one, am glad that they are finally getting their just due. Better late than never.