The Ontario Legislature has proposed changes (Bills 159 and 146) to the statutory obligations of both temporary help agencies (“Agencies”) and their clients (“Employers”).  These changes would increase protection for temporary employees, including an “agency cut maximum” and a cap on the percentage of temporary employees that can be used by an Employer.  In particular:

  • Agencies would be required to pay their temporary employees at least 80% of the amount they charge clients for services performed by a given temporary employee.
  • Employers would have to ensure that the total hours worked by temporary employees in a work week do not exceed 25% of the total hours worked by all employees.

Details

Bill 159

An Act to amend the Employment Standards Act, 2000 with respect to temporary help agencies

Bill 146

Stronger Workplaces for a Stronger Economy Act, 2014

  •  Agencies would be required to obtain and renew a license from the Director of Employment Standards (the “Director”).
  • The Director can impose conditions on, suspend, or revoke a license.
  • Agencies would have to report the hours worked by each temporary employee for each client and sign a compliance declaration semi-annually.
  •  Agencies and Employers would be jointly and severally liable for unpaid wages of temporary employees.
  • Agencies and Employers would be subject to more stringent record-keeping standards.
  • Agencies would be responsible for Worker Safety and Insurance Board (“WSIB”) accident costs if a temporary employee is injured at an Employer’s work site.

Implications

Agencies and Employers should begin to develop compliance plans that would satisfy the proposed changes.  If you have any further questions or would like more information regarding the proposed Bills, please contact a member of our Labour, Employment and Employment Benefits Group.

Many thanks to Andrew Chien for his assistance in drafting this blog.