Ontario to Introduce License Regime Regulating Temp Agencies, Recruiters


Ontario’s Ministry of Labour, Immigration, Training and Skills Development (MLITSD) will implement new licensing requirements for temporary help agencies, recruiters and their clients. The Ontario Trucking Association lauded the changes, which take effect on July 1 and are meant to elevate industry standards and protect workers across the province.

Temporary help agencies must comply with several standards in order to achieve a licence, including having appropriate WSIB coverage, being compliant with CRA and taxation, holding a $25,000 bond with the government to be used for any Employment Standards infractions, and confirming legislative requirements about the owners of the business.

What does this mean for employers who use temporary employment agencies?

Clients of temporary help agencies are prohibited from knowingly engaging or using the services of a temporary help agency unless the agency holds a licence to operate as a temporary help agency.

Additionally, employers, prospective employers, and other recruiters are prohibited from knowingly using the services of any recruiter unless the recruiter holds a licence to act as a recruiter.

Penalties for employers and clients of temporary employment agencies who knowingly use an unlicensed temporary help agency, or recruiter range from $15,000 for a first contravention to $25,000 for a second contravention in a three-year period and $50,000 for a third contravention in a three-year period. 

Employers need to ensure that any temporary employment agency they work with are licenced by July 1, or could be in contravention of the new law.

“OTA is pleased to see MLITSD move ahead with their new licensing regime,” said Stephen Laskowski, President of Ontario Trucking Association. “Legitimate staffing and temp help agencies play an important role in our industry, but for too long, we have seen some skirt the rules and actively aid in the fueling of Driver Inc. and other unscrupulous practices. This is a great step towards addressing these issues and we applaud the province for its leadership in championing industry compliance.”    

Read more about these changes at the Ministry’s website here. More resources and information is also available from the Association of Canadian Search, Employment & Staffing Services’ website.

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