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Protections For Temporary Help Agency Employees Go Into Effect

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Protections For Temporary Help Agency Employees Go Into Effect

McGuinty Government Acts To Reduce Poverty And Protect Employees

New legislation comes into force today that will ensure temporary help agency employees are treated fairly and have a better chance to move to sustainable employment.

The Employment Standards Amendment Act (Temporary Help Agencies, 2009) delivers more fairness for vulnerable temporary help agency employees by:

  • Making sure that they are not unfairly prevented from accessing permanent jobs when agency clients want to hire them from agencies,
  • Prohibiting temporary help agencies from charging fees to employees 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, and
  • Requiring agencies to provide employees with information about their new rights under the Employment Standards Act.

A new regulation also ensures that most "elect-to-work" employees have the right to notice of termination and severance pay.

The new legislation is part of Ontario's Poverty Reduction Strategy which 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, thereby lifting about 90,000 children out of poverty.

Quick Facts

  • There are more than 640,000 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

“Increasing opportunities for low-income workers is a key component of our Poverty Reduction Strategy. These changes will help ensure that temporary workers are treated fairly, have more opportunities for sustainable employment, and can contribute to Ontario's economic future.”

Laurel Broten

Minister of Children and Youth Services

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