Hire a caregiver or use a Calgary home care company?

The time may have come when you realize that you, an aging parent, or a loved one, need extra care. If you opt for private care services, you can:

  • hire a caregiver/s direct yourself


  • go to a homecare services provider (agency) to provide you with your caregiver/s.

It may be tempting to hire a private caregiver direct and potentially pay less than going through a homeware provider service. However, there are responsibilities and risks of employing someone directly, which you and your family should be aware of when comparing both the time and costs involved.

Employing a private caregiver

When you hire a caregiver directly, you become their employer. That means you must comply with the requirements of the Employment Standards Act, which includes:

  • contracted hours of work
  • proper breaks and time off
  • statutory holiday pay
  • vacation pay
  • personal emergency leave

If you are employing a resident (live-in caregiver) you need to be particularly careful that they don’t work too many hours. Equally, the person your caregiver looks after must not be reliant on care provided outside their working hours, such as overnight.

You also need to be aware of your HR requirements around employee rights regarding any disciplinary action, disputes and dismissal procedures.

Advantages of using a homecare provider:

At Vytality at Home, we take care of every aspect of compliance with the Employment Standards Act. We ensure that our caregivers work the correct number of hours, and ensure they have sufficient time off and vacation time too.

Responsibilities for payment and tax

When you hire your own caregiver, you will need to comply with various employment rules and tax requirements just like any other employer. This includes:

  • paying their wages and deducting tax at source
  • registering as an employer with your province Workplace Safety Insurance scheme and paying the required fees
  • caregivers tax, CPP and EI contributions and paying monies due to Revenue Canada
  • drawing up an employment agreement
  • completing required paperwork including Records of Employment and T4 statements

Advantages of using a homecare service:

Your homeware services provider will take care of all payment details for your caregiver for you. They will also ensure all records are kept according to legal requirements. Like Vytality at Home, most care agencies will invoice you for a regular fee calculated on the hours of care received, or a fixed fee for a live-in caregiver.

Insuring your caregiver

Whether they are employed for one hour or as a live-in carer, you would need to set up an account for them with Alberta’s WSIB/Workplace Safety Insurance scheme. There are fees incurred by this. You also need to check your own personal household insurance as there may be conditions around another person working and/or living in your property.

Many families who look to employ a caregiver direct also do not realise that the caregiver themselves need to provide full liability insurance in case they injure the person they are caring for. The caregiver should also hold a bond for repayment for anything household items they might damage or break, especially if your home has valuable furniture, antiques or technology.

Advantages of using a homecare provider:

All of our caregivers are fully insured and bonded. Taking out comprehensive caregiver insurance yourself can be expensive, so this often represents a significant saving over employing a caregiver yourself.

Caregiver sick leave and holidays

One of the major issues around hiring your own caregiver is what happens when they:

  • are sick or injured and unable to work
  • take their time off and vacations
  • need time off due to personal circumstances
  • decide to leave or terminate their employment

Advantages of using a homecare provider:

At Vytality at Home, we have a whole team of experienced, friendly and flexible caregivers. So if your designated caregiver is unable to fulfil their visit, or your live-in carer is taken ill, one of our team will be there instead, ensuring continuity of care.

Finding a caregiver in Calgary

You will need to advertise for and take time to interview prospective caregivers to ensure they are the right “fit” for caring for you or your loved one. It can be hard to find a caregiver with the right combination of experience, qualified skills and personality so they can give the best care possible. Caregivers are very much in demand at present, and there simply may not be sufficient candidates.

Advantages of using a homecare provider:

At Vytality at Home, we handpick our caregivers from a long list of candidates. Every caregiver we employ has been personally interviewed by a chartered human resource professional. We continually recruit throughout the year so that we have plenty of caregivers in our team when others move on, change jobs, or decide to start their own family!

Who is your caregiver?

When you’re inviting someone to work with a loved one at a personal level, it is crucial to conduct background checks for any criminal record. You can do this at a local level through Calgary police, but that check won’t cover the rest of the country, or indeed abroad. Your prospective carer may also provide certificates of education which should also be verified, which not as simple as it may first appear. If they are not Canadian residents, you must check that they are legally able to work in Canada.

Advantages of using a homecare provider:

We take this process very seriously to protect our clients and their families, and our own team here at Vytality at Home. We verify all credentials and ensure all of our team has a full background and vulnerable sector checks.

Employing caregivers from abroad

It is possible to employ a caregiver from abroad under the Government Temporary Foreign Worker (TFW) Program. However, this adds another layer of administration and paperwork such as making arrangements “with the appropriate regulatory body for the certification, registration or licensing of the TFW” and the need to “pay $1,000 for each position requested to cover the cost of processing a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) application.”

Advantages of using a homecare provider:

At Vytality at Home, we aim to match you or your loved one with the best possible caregiver who visits on a regular basis. So as a family member, you always know who is coming to deliver care for your loved one, and those being cared for get to know their caregiver too. This process includes , as far as possible, matching your preferred language option with a carer who speaks that language too. Rather than risk employing a person from abroad just to find a carer who speaks the right language, you can simply request a native speaker from Vytality at Home.

Looking for a reliable caregiver or live-in carer in Calgary?

Contact us at Vytality at Home to discuss your specific requirements. We’re here to help you or your loved one live at home with the level of care you need, when you need it.

Vytality at Home: passionate about providing exceptional home care experiences in Calgary

539, 5940 Macleod Trail SWCalgary, AB