Licenses for temporary help agencies and recruiters in Ontario?

examination papers

We are so pleased to hear that this legislation has been formerly proposed in Ontario, and is one step closer to becoming law.  For years, this is something that ABL Employment and other members of People 2.0/The Staffing Edge organization have been advocating for. We believe it’s good for employees, good for businesses, and good for the reputation of our industry.

The following memo was first published on October 18th, 2021 by the team of People 2.0, of which ABL Employment is a proud member:

Ontario proposed legislation would require licenses for temporary help agencies and recruiters as early as 2024:


The Ontario government intends to introduce legislation that, if passed, would require temporary help agencies (THAs) and recruiters to have a license to operate in the province. Proposed changes would enable officers to levy penalties against an unlicensed THA or recruiter or a business who is using an unlicensed operator. As well, those who use deceitful recruiters could be required to repay workers for illegal fees charged. Ontario is also proposing to hire a dedicated team of officers to crack down on THAs and recruiters who are exploiting and trafficking domestic and foreign workers.

Previous inspections by ministry officers have shown that there are multiple temporary help agencies in Ontario that are illegally paying people below the minimum wage and denying other basic employment rights. In doing so, they gain an unfair competitive advantage over law-abiding agencies by undercutting rates.

Under the proposed legislation, THAs and recruiters would be vetted before being issued a license to operate. Applicants would need to provide an irrevocable letter of credit, that could be used to repay owed wages to workers. Penalties could be issued against unlicensed agencies and recruiters as well as the companies who use them, with proactive inspection measures to ensure compliance with applicable requirements. If the legislation is passed, the government intends to require licenses as early as 2024.

We are monitoring as this unfolds and will be providing updates as the Ontario government provides additional information.

Please feel free to refer to the below link for additional information.

https://news.ontario.ca/en/release/1000987/ontario-taking-steps-to-protect-vulnerable-workers

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