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Protecting Temporary Help Agency Employees

Archived News Release

Protecting Temporary Help Agency Employees

McGuinty Government Implementing Poverty Reduction Strategy

Ontario is taking action to ensure that temporary help agency employees are being treated fairly and have better opportunities to move to sustainable employment.

The Government plans to introduce legislation today that will, if passed, amend the Employment Standards Act to deliver more fairness for low-income workers by:

  • Making sure that they are not unfairly prevented from accessing permanent jobs when employers want to hire them from agencies
  • Prohibiting temporary help agencies from charging fees to workers for things such as resume writing and interview preparation
  • Guaranteeing that employees have the information they need about their assignments including pay schedules and job descriptions.
  • Ensuring that employees have access to information about their rights under the Employment Standards Act

The government has already passed a regulation that will ensure that "elect-to work" employees like temp workers will have the same rights to public holiday entitlements as other workers, effective January 2, 2009. The legislation introduced today would also, if passed, allow the government to enact regulations so that "elect to work" employees also have the same rights to notice of termination and severance pay.

Ontario's Poverty Reduction Strategy is designed to build a stronger economy by creating more opportunity for all low-income families and children. The strategy sets a goal of reducing child poverty by 25 per cent in 5 years - lifting 90,000 children out of poverty.

Quick Facts

  • There are more than 700,000 people in Ontario working in temporary jobs, many through temporary help agencies.
  • There are about 1,000 temporary help agencies currently operating in Ontario.

Background Information

Additional Resources


“The McGuinty government is committed to protecting the rights of all employees. We want to ensure that Ontario’s employment legislation reflects the realities of today’s workplace and labour market in a balanced way, and that employees working through temporary help agencies are properly protected under the law.”

Peter Fonseca

Minister of Labour

“Our Poverty Reduction Strategy is about creating more opportunity and building a stronger economy. By eliminating barriers to permanent employment and strengthening employment rights for many vulnerable workers, we’re creating opportunities for them to achieve their potential.”

Deb Matthews

Minister of Children and Youth Services



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