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Ontario staffing bill moving ahead

April 22 2009

A bill that would lay out new regulations for staffing firms in Ontario is moving ahead without changes called for by the staffing industry. According to the Association of Canadian Search, Employment and Staffing Services, Bill 139 was ordered earlier this month to go for a third reading in the Legislative Assembly of Ontario, one of the final steps before becoming law, without substantial amendments.

Bill 139 includes several rules such as a prohibition against charging prospective temporary workers fees for becoming temporary workers. However, staffing firms had raised concerns about other portions of the bill including provisions that prohibit charging conversion fees after six months to clients that hire on temporary workers and a rule on when a worker is considered employed by a staffing firm.

The bill stipulates that a temporary worker does not legally stop being an employee of the staffing firm even when not on assignment, according to ACSESS. And an amendment to the bill also provides that temporary workers will be deemed terminated if he or she is not assigned work for more than 13 weeks in a 20-week period. An earlier version of the bill deemed a temporary worker terminated after 35 weeks if he or she had not received an assignment.

Amendments to Bill 139 also detail how to calculate termination and severance pay for temporary workers, according to ACSESS.

After a third reading, the bill will be set to receive royal assent, and it will take effect six months afterward. Bills are typically approved during a third reading.

ACSESS plans a webinar on the bill in early June.

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