Tips once your open work permit arrives:
After at least two years of working as a live-in caregiver, the arrival of your open work permit is very exciting! While some caregivers may consider childcare a lifelong profession, for others, an open work permit signals a chance to seize fresh opportunities.
As enticing as it sounds, simply jumping from one job into another isn’t the best way to manage your new found freedom. If anything, there are some important steps to take after receiving your open work permit (and even before!)
1. Tell Your Employer: When the time arrives to apply for your open work permit, you must tell your employer about your plans. Will you continue your employment with the family after the permit arrives, or do you plan on finding a new job?
2. Give Your Employer Notice: If you do plan on leaving your employer for another job, it is best to give your employer a formal notice of resignation. What does this mean? You must provide your employer with a written letter explaining that you are “giving your notice”, or in other words, “quitting your job”. In your letter you must provide the date of your last work day. The standard is two weeks’ notice however; your employment contract may provide a longer notice period. Some may state 4 weeks, or even 8 weeks. Since finding a suitable nanny takes considerable time, you should stay with your employer until they find a replacement, or arrange for alternative care.
3. Consider Your Options: Although the world beyond your employers’ home looks promising, finding work in Canada is a challenge, even for Canadian citizens. That being said, it is wise to research your job options. How much do you realistically need to earn in order to afford rent and other living expenses? Is your plan to save money for family sponsorship? Are you interested in attending school? Many live-out nannies earn approximately $15/hour. While this may seem like a significant increase from your minimum wage salary, after factoring in new costs, you may not have much extra cash to save, or put towards other expenses.
4. Maintain Your Work Ethic: If you do plan on leaving your employers, the receipt of your open work permit is not an excuse to lower your work standards. You should, until the day you depart from your employer’s home maintain the same high level of work.
5. Take Care of Business: Give your employers ample time to complete your Record of Employment and to calculate your final pay cheque, which may or may not include vacation pay depending if you took vacation during your employment period. You may also want to ask for a letter of reference so that you have a record for future employment opportunities.
Above all, treat your employers with respect. Although an employer-employee relationship exists, your family not only provided you with an excellent job opportunity, but also welcomed you into their home and their lives. Receiving you open work permit is worth celebrating, but not at the expense of the people you’ve spent two years or more, caring for.
Contact International Nannies and Homecare Ltd if you have further questions.