After tightening qualification rules around professions in long-term care, the Ministry of Health is now proposing to make it a little easier for existing nursing home workers to switch employers without having to meet the qualification standards for new hires set out in the recent Long Term Care Homes Act (2007).
The new rules are similar to the grandfathering clause established for personal support workers (PSWs).
Staff would not face the new criteria if they have three years of full-time experience in the same position in the five years preceding the date of hire in a different home. Part-time workers who have the equivalent of three years’ full-time experience over the last seven years preceding their hire would also avoid the new standards.
Regulation 79/10 brought the Act into force July 1, 2010 and with it established educational standards for numerous professions with Ontario’s long term care system.
The proposed amendment affects staff providing recreational and social activities, cooks, food service workers, the designated lead for housekeeping, laundry services and maintenance as well as the lead for recreational and social activities. The proposed amendment also covers the Director of Nursing and Personal Care and the home’s administrator.
In addition, the amendment expands the definition of a qualified dietitian to include those with a temporary certificate of registration, cooks to include those who have completed the institutional cook program, and food service workers who have completed or enrolled in an assistant cook or a cook apprenticeship program.
Deadline for commenting on these proposed changes to the Ministry of Health is January 31, 2013. You can do so by clicking here.
This is good news, however, I will hold my any further comments until we see the actual wording on the final regulation. We currently have the wording as ‘the employer may hire’ in the section for PSWs. The corporation that I am employed with will not even look at any new hire unless that person holds a PSW certificate.
I do wonder why all this has come about. Could it be that the wages most employers offer do not support the work and cost for that education.which is currently required. With wages as low as $13 per hour, how can one make a decent living working part time. That seems to be the greatest percentage of workers in LTC where most facilities are 2/3 part time staff. Changes to this regulation will no doubt give the opportunity for those to look for another job to get full time hours and rise above poverty level income.