Ontario Enacting Provisions to Provide Further Protections for Temporary Help Agency Workers
Ontario is taking strong action to increase protections for temporary help agency workers. The government has proclaimed Schedule 5 of Bill 18, the Stronger Workplaces for a Stronger Economy Act, 2014, an amendment to the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act,1997 (WSIA) to enable a new regulation to better protect temporary help agency workers.
The province has proclaimed an amendment to the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act (WSIA), which will allow for the development of a regulation requiring the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board to impose the costs of an injury suffered by a temporary help agency worker on the client employer.
Currently, when a temporary help agency worker is injured at the workplace of a client employer, the accident costs are imposed on the temporary help agency who supplied the worker, rather than on the client employer. This is the case even though injuries occur at the client workplace, which is controlled by the client who decides what work the temporary help agency workers perform.
These changes build on the province's recently enacted protections for temporary help agency workers, including card-based certification, equal pay for equal work, paid sick days and the introduction of the requirement that temporary help agencies and their clients are jointly liable for temporary help agency employees' wages.
Ontario's plan to support care, create opportunity and make life more affordable during this period of rapid economic change includes a higher minimum wage and better working conditions, free tuition for hundreds of thousands of students, easier access to affordable child care, and free prescription drugs for everyone under 25, and 65 or over, through the biggest expansion of medicare in a generation.
- The government has proclaimed Schedule 5 of Bill 18, The Stronger Workplaces for a Stronger Economy Act, 2014, an amendment to the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act, 1997.
- Studies show that temporary help agency workers have higher workers’ compensation claim incidence rates than those in standard employment arrangements.
- Ontario’s Workplace Safety and Insurance Board currently covers 313,000 employers and 5.3 million workers.
“This is an important part of this government’s overall commitment to safe workplaces and protecting Ontario’s most vulnerable workers. These provisions will ensure that employers with control of workplaces are financially responsible for injuries to temporary workers that occur at those workplaces. This will help take away the financial incentive to contract out dangerous work and places the focus, instead, on safe work practices.”