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Support Workers

Some funding might help you pay for a support worker. A support worker can help provide the right amount of supports for you to achieve your goals and help with daily activities such as:   

  • Getting ready for your day. 
  • Going places in the community.

Getting a support worker can be complicated so you may need some help.  

First you need to decide if you want to get a support worker through an organization or on your own.  

Getting a support worker on your own comes with a lot of responsibilities.  

If you get a support worker on your own: 

  • It is important to think about whether your worker is your employee, or if they are in business for themselves.   
  • It is important to speak with a lawyer about different employment relationships and how they work.    

If your support worker is an employee, you will need to:  

  • Manage their pay.
  • Give them vacation pay and public holiday pay.
  • Make sure you are paying them the minimum wage.
  • Make certain kinds of payments to the Canada Revenue Agency.
  • Think about workplace safety.

If your worker is self-employed (in business for themselves) you and your worker may have different obligations related to reporting, taxes and insurance. 


Partners for Planning has made a webcast to help people learn how to recruit, hire and manage support workers.

In this hour-long video, two mothers of adults with developmental disabilities talk about hiring and managing support workers. The video is made for parents and caregivers but could be helpful for anyone.

The video covers topics like:

  • The importance of planning and creating a vision of a good life.
  • How to find, interview, hire and train support workers.
  • Things to consider when hiring a support worker.
  • How to build and manage relationships with the support worker.
  • The importance of building a circle of support.
  • Challenges of being an employer and strategies for success.
  • Places to go if you need help with finding, interviewing, hiring and training support workers.

PooranLaw has created a webpage that provides resources and tools for families interested in engaging with support workers.

Here are some resources from PooranLaw you may want to start with:

  1. Government of Canada Resources – Employee or Self-Employed Guide
    • This resource outlines the difference between being an employer or hiring someone who is self-employed. This is important for families to know when hiring supports workers because it defines the support workers’ employment status.
  2. Government of Canada Resources – Recruiting and Hiring Workers in Canada
    • This webpage will provide you information on different aspects you need to consider when hiring and managing employees.
  3. Ontario Ministry of Community and Social Services Resources – Hiring a Support Worker Guide
    • This easy read guide provides the steps to take when hiring a support worker. It will walk you through the process of thinking about and hiring a support worker.

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