Temp Agencies in the Spot Light

Earlier today, the Ontario Minister of Labour announced that temporary help agencies and recruiters will soon need to be licensed and vetted by the province to operate.

New labour legislation which will be introduced in the legislature later today will, if passed, give workers “unprecedented protection and security,” according to Labour Minister Monte McNaughton.

The legislation includes a new licensing system, stricter penalties for rule-breakers and a specialized task force to identify exploitation.   Key rules that already exist but are frequently not followed, include the requirement that temp agencies have WSIB for their workers, that they treat their workers as “employees” with all the attendant rights of employees as opposed to merely “independent contractors”, and that the temp agencies workers are provided with notice and information in relation to their assignments to temp agency clients.

Importantly for government funded employers that rely on temp agencies and recruiters, the new legislation will include hefty penalties for temp agencies, as well as the employers who rely on those agencies.
In addition, the Labour Minister has indicated in an interview with the Toronto Star that the government would soon be “coming forward with other changes to ensure that we’re protecting all workers in Ontario and ensuring that they have more take-home pay….Businesses are going to actually have to do things differently. They’re going to have to pay their workers more. They’re going to have to provide benefits, look at things like pensions and ensuring that they have a safe working environment.”   This may make the cost of using temp agencies prohibitive and result in significant shifts in the use of temp workers in the sectors that currently rely upon them.

PooranLaw will continue to monitor legal developments related to these new legislative developments.  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 the 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.