36 out of 50 temporary help agencies violating employment standards: Government

117 compliance orders issued during Ontario blitz

Out of 50 inspections, just 14 temporary help agencies were found compliant, with no violations, according to a blitz by the Ontario Ministry of Labour.

The inspections ran from Jan. 1 to Feb. 28, 2015, and it was the sixth employment standards blitz conducted by the Ministry of Labour since 2012. The initiative is meant to ensure compliance with the Employment Standards Act (ESA).

“The nature of work in Ontario has changed in recent years and the use of temporary employees by businesses has increased. As a result, it is vital that the Ministry of Labour assist temporary help agencies in understanding how to follow the law. This will help protect vulnerable workers and ensure those who are complying with the law can better compete,” said the government.

More than 100 (117) compliance orders and three notices of contravention were issued while 121 compliance “tools” (such as compliance orders, notices of contravention or tickets) were issued, said the government.

One-hundred per cent of the monies owing to employees assessed during the blitz were paid voluntarily by the employer and more than $38,600 was recovered for 2,989 employees.

The most common monetary violations were for:

•public holiday pay

•vacation pay

•overtime pay.

The most common non-monetary violations were for:

•record keeping

•hours of work — excess daily/weekly

•vacation pay — written agreements.

This was the second formal temporary help agency blitz conducted by the ministry. Officers checked for compliance with core ESA standards, with a particular focus on:

•temporary help agencies charging employees fees

•temporary help agencies providing the required information

•public holidays

•record keeping

•hours of work (excess daily or weekly).

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