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Temporary Help Agencies & Labour Trafficking

The government is focused on protecting every worker – including those employed by temporary help agencies. While most temporary help agencies play by the rules, over the past two years, we have found that some are unjustly making millions off the backs of workers.

It is unacceptable that some of these agencies are paying people below the minimum wage and denying them other employment rights, while also gaining a competitive advantage over law-abiding agencies by undercutting rates.

This is why this government intends to introduce legislation that, if passed, would require THAs and recruiters to have a licence and provide a security in the form of an irrevocable letter of credit to operate in Ontario.

This plan would be the most comprehensive in Canada, requiring these operators be vetted before being issued a licence to operate and requiring 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 licences as early as 2024.

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.

No worker in Ontario should be going to work in fear with their movements tracked and their passports locked away.

These proposed changes are strong but we must be decisive to help protect vulnerable workers and ensure honest businesses feel safe addressing their staffing needs through licensed temporary help agencies and recruiters.

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