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Temporary Help Agency Employees Obtain New Rights

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Temporary Help Agency Employees Obtain New Rights

McGuinty Government Acts To Reduce Poverty And Protect Employees

Ontario has passed legislation to ensure that temporary help agency employees are being treated fairly and have better opportunities to move to sustainable employment.

The Employment Standards Amendment Act (Temporary Help Agencies), 2009 passed today and will come into force six months after Royal Assent.

The Act will deliver more fairness for low-income temporary help agency 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
  • Requiring agencies to provide employees with information about their new rights under the Employment Standards Act.

The government will also propose a regulation to ensure that "elect-to-work" employees have the right 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


“It is only fair that temporary help agency workers are treated the same as other employees. By removing barriers to permanent employment, we are helping people achieve their potential and opening doors to opportunity.”

Peter Fonseca

Minister of Labour

“This is another step forward in the implementation of our Poverty Reduction Strategy. Ensuring temporary workers are treated fairly increases opportunity for themselves and their families and builds a stronger economy.”

Deb Matthews

Minister of Children and Youth Services

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