Legislation requiring staffing agencies to be licensed has been repealed in Ontario.
Employment Agencies Act
, which required all staffing agencies with offices in the province to have a licence and renew it every year at a cost of $500, was repealed by the provincial labour ministry in May.
The majority of the legislation dealt with launching a complaint against an agency. Similar legislation still exists in Alberta and British Columbia.
The staffing industry welcomed the repeal.
The licence was really just a “tin badge” and amounted to an extra tax on firms, said Stephen Jones, national chair of government and public relations for the Association of Canadian Search, Employment and Staffing Services (ACSESS) and president of staffing firm People Bank.
“It gave the false impression that if you went to an agency who had this licence, you would get pretty good service. But, there were no standards in the legislation. It dealt only vaguely with them. So it was really unfair that they would hand out a licence to anyone who applied and paid without any real meaning,” said Jones.
The industry will continue to operate as it did before the repeal. ACSESS, which represents about 70 per cent of Canadian employment, staffing and recruiting firms, will continue to set standards and codes of practice for the industry, said Jones.