Alberta reviews rules for employment agencies

Issues up for review include disclosure of information, fees and services

The Alberta government is reviewing the existing rules governing employment agencies and is seeking public input.

“In the past decade, the province has changed dramatically,” said Minister of Service Alberta Heather Klimchuk.

“More workers have come here from other provinces and other countries. So this is a good time to review the rules for employment agencies and make sure they’re appropriate, particularly as Alberta’s economy recovers in the years ahead.”

Currently, under the Employment Agencies Business Licensing Regulation, employment agencies in the province must be licensed if they help an Alberta employer find employees, help employees find work in Alberta or evaluate or test people for employers seeking employees.

Agencies are also not allowed to charge a fee for finding someone a job. The regulation, which falls under the Fair Trading Act, was last reviewed in 1999.

As part of the review, an online discussion paper is available, covering a range of issues related to employment agencies, including:

• what employment agencies should be required to disclose to their clients;

• the types of fees agencies are and are not allowed to charge;

• what types of extra services, such as settlement services for foreign workers, should recruiters be allowed to offer; and,

• whether agencies that provide settlement services should also be regulated.

There is an online tip sheet on existing rules for employment agencies. People can fill out an online survey with their feedback. The deadline for input is April 30.

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