Manitoba moves to protect temp workers

Legislation would prohibit agencies from restricting workers from obtaining permanent employment

Manitoba's government has introduced legislation it says will provide better protection for temporary workers hired through temporary employment agencies.

Erna Braun, the province's labour and immigration minister, said the legislation — introduced on April 15 — would also reduce barriers to permanent employment for those workers.

“Our government is focused on creating good jobs and training skilled workers to meet the needs of Manitoba employers,” said Braun. “We want to ensure that there are no barriers to workers gaining permanent employment and the appropriate protections are in place for temporary workers.”

Temporary help agencies are an established part of the labour market and provide a valuable service for employers in need of immediate skilled workers and help workers find employment, the minister said.

The act would:

• prohibit agencies from restricting a temporary worker from obtaining permanent employment

• regulate the charging of conversion fees

• extend notice of termination and pay obligation rights to workers

• require temporary employment agencies be licensed by Manitoba Labour and Immigration.

In 2013, there were about two million Canadians employed as temporary workers in industries such as construction, processing and manufacturing, cleaning, office duties and home care, the province said. In Manitoba, there were about 63,300 temporary workers in 2013.

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