An advocacy group says the federal government needs to bolster protections for migrant care workers who it claims are increasingly being exploited during the pandemic.
The Migrant Rights Network says in a report that the global health crisis has increased alleged abuses faced by the workers who come from abroad to care for children, the sick and the elderly in employers’ homes.
The report, which was compiled by surveying over 200 migrant care workers across Canada, alleges they have dealt with unpaid wages, long hours of work, and eviction with little legal protection during the pandemic.
The group also says some workers have seen their employment cut, which prevents them from accumulating enough work hours to apply for permanent immigration status.
The group says some workers have been laid off and have not been able to access income supports.
The advocates make a series of recommendations aimed at addressing employment conditions, housing, and securing pathways to citizenship for the workers.
“Permanent resident status is the single most important change that would ensure migrant care workers can protect themselves against labour exploitation,” the report says.
“(It) immediately gives workers the ability to leave a bad job and make a complaint without fear of reprisals.”
This report by The Canadian Press was first published October 28, 2020.
The Canadian Press