Exciting changes are underway in the recruitment industry with ONTARIO REGULATION 99/23 made under the EMPLOYMENT STANDARDS ACT, 2000 introducing new licensing requirements for THA (Temporary Help Agencies) and Recruiters operating within the province of Ontario. For years, there has been cries for licensing in the industry to prioritize transparency, professionalism, and the protection of job seekers and employers alike. With the recent amendments made to the Employment Standards Act (ESA), it will address these issues and represents a significant step towards ensuring fair practices and fostering trust within the industry.
First, let’s identify those who will be affected by these new regulations: THA (Temporary Help Agencies), Recruiters, Employers and Job Seekers.
According to the ESA, the definition of “recruiter” is, “Any person who, for a fee, finds, or attempts to find, employment in Ontario for prospective employees”, or “Any person who, for a fee, finds, or attempts to find, employees for prospective employers in Ontario”. Now there are a few exceptions where the individual:
- Is recruiting as a duty of their position as an employee
- Is working with a school board or operating a private school
- A trade union
- A registered charity
- is party to an agreement with the Crown in right of Ontario, the Crown in right of Canada or a municipality to recruit
- Is recruiting for those who are eligible to receive services and supports under the Services and Supports to Promote the Social Inclusion of Persons with Developmental Disabilities Act, 2008
THA and Recruiters in Ontario are given a six-month period starting July 1, 2023, to prepare and file their applications for licences. There are provisions in place to permit THA and recruiters to continue operating on January 1, 2024, only if they have already submitted their application prior to that date. To obtain a licence, applicants must pay a prescribed fee, provide a security in the form of an irrevocable letter of credit, and must comply to several requirements. There will be an estimate of approximately 8,000 licences to be issued in the province and any violation or non-compliance will result in fines and the licences being revoked, suspended, or not renewed. There will also be public record made available to show all licensee and their information including licensing status, operating / business name, contact information (address, email, phone number).
For businesses who utilizes THA and recruiters as part of their recruitment strategies, they need to know that, after January 1, 2024, it would be a violation of the ESA for anyone to knowing use an unlicensed THA or recruiter. Proper documentation must also be in-place for candidates and where the THA or recruiter they came from to demonstrate compliance during audits or investigations.
This legislation aims to protect the interests of both employers and job seekers by raising the level of professionalism, integrity, training, and level of service, while ensuring fair and ethical practices in the recruitment industry. It also looks to promote a greater degree of accountability and transparency by leveling the playing field by requiring license to operate.
Ontario’s progressive stance on licensing in the recruitment industry sets a benchmark showcasing its dedication to fostering a transparent, accountable, and fair market for all. Exciting times lie ahead as Ontario embarks on this transformative journey, ushering in a new era of professionalism and trust within the recruitment industry.
Expand Reach Inc. is committed to providing excellent service to our clients and candidates with the highest level of business ethics, professionalism, diversity and inclusion, integrity and will fully adhere to, and comply with ESA legislation and any legislative changes that may arise.
Contact Us today to speak with one of our Recruitment Specialists and let us help you build your team with the right talent this year!
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