New Licensing Deadlines set for Temporary Help Agencies and Recruiters

A new licensing regime for temporary help agencies (THAs) and recruiters was introduced after the Employment Standards Act, 2000 (ESA) was amended with Bill 27, Working for Workers Act, 2021.  Stage 1, which introduces most of the licensing provisions, commences on July 1, 2023. On January 1, 2024, the rest of the restrictions (such as operating without a license or knowingly use an unlicensed provider) will come into place.

Key Provisions

      • There are exemptions for the licensing of registered charities, government contracted employment services program providers and Services and Supports to Promote the Social Inclusion of Persons with Developmental Disabilities Act (SIPDDA) related employment support providers.
      • There is a $750 fee associated with applying for each licence or renewing each licence.
      • Securities in the form of letters of credits of $25,000 (for each application), which will be drawn against for amounts owed to workers under the ESA.
      • There are first time penalties of up to $15,000 and repeat offences may be penalized up to $50,000 under the ESA.

Stages of Licensing

The staged amendments will give THAs and recruiters a six-month period to prepare and file for their licenses. The licensing regulations will permit THAs and recruiters to continue operating without a license after January 1, 2024, if they have submitted their applications by December 31, 2023. Effective January 1, 2024, it is a violation of the ESA to knowingly use an unlicensed THA or recruiter.


The introduction of these new regulations will impact the sector because many THAs and recruiters may not be able to pay the fees for licensing. If THAs or recruiters can pay the fees, their fees to the employer may become higher to meet the new licencing requirements.

Additionally, employers must ensure that the THAs and recruiters they use are licensed, or the employer may be held liable under the ESA.

PooranLaw will continue to monitor the ongoing legal developments related to these regulations. In the meantime, 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.