For Nannies For Parents

Legal vs. Illegal Questions for Nanny Interviews in Canada


Finding the right nanny involves more than just reviewing qualifications; it requires an understanding of the nannies ability to fit into your family’s unique lifestyle and values. 

At The Nanny Solution, we cater to families looking for reliable, vetted, professional childcare—where nannies are not just caregivers but educated, nurturing childcare experts. 

With this in mind, we believe that the interview process should respect the legal protections in place for job applicants in Canada, ensuring that your family’s search for the perfect nanny is both effective and lawful.

Here is a comprehensive list of what you can and cannot ask nanny candidates during a job interview:

1. Age

  • DON’T ASK: “How old are you?”
  • Legal Alternative: “Are you legally eligible to work in Canada?”
  • Why the alternative works: This question ensures the candidate meets the legal working age without directly asking about their age.


2. Marital Status and Family

  • DON’T ASK: “Are you married?” “Do you have children?” “Are you planning to have children?”
  • Legal Alternative: “Are you able to commit to the schedule we’ve outlined for the job?”
  • Why the alternative works: This focuses on the candidate’s availability and commitment to the job, rather than their family status.


3. Nationality and Ethnic Origin

  • DON’T ASK: “Where were you born?” “What is your nationality?”
  • Legal Alternative: “Are you authorized to work in Canada?”
  • Why the alternative works: This question ensures compliance with employment eligibility without discriminating based on origin.


4. Religion

  • DON’T ASK: “What religion do you practice?” “Do you observe any religious holidays?”
  • Legal Alternative: “This job requires working on weekends and some holidays. Are you able to meet these scheduling requirements?”
  • Why the alternative works: It addresses the candidate’s availability without inquiring into their religious practices.


5. Disability

  • DON’T ASK: “Do you have any disabilities?” “Have you had any recent illnesses or operations?”
  • Legal Alternative: “Are you able to perform the essential duties of this job with or without accommodation?”
  • Why the alternative works: This question focuses on the candidate’s ability to perform job-related tasks rather than on their medical history.


6. Sexual Orientation

  • DON’T ASK: “Are you gay?” “What is your sexual orientation?”
  • Legal Alternative: There is no job-related reason to ask about someone’s sexual orientation.
  • Why no alternative is needed: Sexual orientation has no impact on a candidate’s ability to perform the job.


7. Residence

  • DON’T ASK: “Do you own or rent your home?” “Who do you live with?”
  • Legal Alternative: “Will you be able to reliably commute to our home?”
  • Why the alternative works: This question ensures the candidate can meet the job’s location requirements without prying into their personal living situation.


Choosing the right nanny is a big decision, and it’s about more than just qualifications—it’s about finding someone who fits with your family dynamics and preferences. 

By keeping your interviews within legal bounds, you’re creating a trusting and professional relationship.

For more resources or personalized assistance in your nanny search, visit The Nanny Solution. Let us help you find the perfect nanny to support your family’s unique needs and lifestyle.

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