New Restrictions Impact Use of Temporary Help Agencies and Recruiters

In 2021, the Ontario government passed the Working for Workers Act, 2021, which included a new licensing framework for temporary help agencies (THAs) and recruiters. However, no timeframe or details of what would be required was included. In July 2023, the government proclaimed the licensing framework into force and provided much-needed clarity on how this licensing framework will work. Applications for licensing for THAs and recruiters are now open and all THAs and recruiters must hold valid licenses by July 1, 2024.

These new rules impose significant hurdles to licensing and may render many of the THAs frequently used by agencies in the sector ineligible.  Moreover, these rules create heightened risks for agency’s associated with using THAs who don’t qualify for licensing. While the long-term consequences are merely speculative at this point, we do expect that THA rates will rise significant due to the requirement that they pay their workers as employees, have WSIB etc., requirements that are not new but which will now be enforced through the licensing regime.

Under the new licensing framework:

        • All THAs and recruiters are required to hold a valid license;
        • All persons are prohibited from 1) operating a THA or as a recruiter without a license, and 2) from engaging or using the services of an unlicensed THA or recruiter;
        • Licences may be suspended, revoked or refused in specific enumerated circumstances;
        • There are administrative penalties for non-compliance; and
        • Reprisals against employees for inquiring about whether a person is licensed to operate as a THA or recruiter are prohibited.

Learn more here.

As always, if you require legal assistance, we encourage you to reach out to your regular PooranLaw lawyer, or any member of our team.

Note: This article provides general information only and does not constitute, and should not be relied upon as, legal advice or opinion. PooranLaw Professional Corporation holds the copyright to this article and its contents may not be copied or reproduced in any form, in whole or in part, without the express permission of PooranLaw Professional Corporation.