Temporary Help Agency Consultations

Regulation Number(s):
Instrument Type:
Bill or Act:
Employment Standards Act, 2000
Summary of Proposal:
Temporary assignment employees generally have the same rights under the Employment Standards Act, 2000 (ESA) as other employees, and there are also additional rules that apply where there is a temporary help agency relationship. These rules apply to assignment employees, the agencies, and clients of temporary help agencies.

The government takes the enforcement of employment standards very seriously. Ministry enforcement efforts have found a range of employment standards violations, including those related to pay periods, wage statements and record keeping. However, in spite of the ministry's ongoing efforts, some temporary help agencies persistently do not follow the rules.
Operating underground without regard to basic legal requirements creates an unfair competitive advantage for underground agencies. It puts law-abiding agencies and employers at a disadvantage.

There have been calls for greater efforts aimed at underground temporary help agencies. To ensure that the government is better able to locate these non-compliant agencies and enforce the ESA, the ministry is considering creating a registry for temporary help agencies and penalties under the ESA if they fail to register.

The objectives of creating a registry would include the following:
- encouraging compliance with the ESA by impeding the ability of temporary help agencies to operate underground;
- helping to address broader issues related to the vulnerability of some assignment employees such as poor working conditions and labour trafficking;
- helping the clients of temporary help agencies avoid working with underground agencies; and,
- establishing a level playing field and eliminating competition from non-compliant agencies and their clients.

Feedback to the questions posed in the consultation paper will provide valuable insight as the government determines the best ways to address these critical issues.
Further Information:
Proposal Number:
20-MLTSD 012
Posting Date:
December 2, 2020
Comments Due Date:
January 29, 2021
Contact Address:
Temporary Help Agency Consultations
Employment and Labour Policy Branch
400 University Avenue, 15th Floor, Suite 1502
Toronto, Ontario
M7A 1T7