Good News for Temp Agency Workers

Support Fairness for Temp Agency Workers

1. Public Holiday Pay - It's the LAW

Temp agency workers now have the right to be paid for the 9 public holidays in Ontario as of January 2, 2009. Family Day was on February 16, 2009.

  • Make sure the agency you work for pays you for this holiday! Call Workers' Action Centre for more information. Report agencies that don't pay to our website.
  • Check out our poster and fact sheet on public holiday pay! Help us spread the word!

2. Bill 139: New Protections for Workers!

In December 2008 the government introduced Bill 139 to protect temp agency workers. The Workers' Action Centre and our members have been fighting for years for fairness for temp agency workers. Bill 139 is an important first step in protecting temp workers. If passed Bill 139 would:

  • End fees charged to workers by temporary assignment agencies
  • Reduce barriers to permanent work for temp agency workers
  • Ensure public holiday pay for all temp agency workers – whether on assignment or laid-off from assignment.
  • Require agencies to give workers information about assignments and our basic rights.
  • Ensure temp agency workers will get some termination and severance protections
  • Require that both the agency and client company are legally responsible when a worker is penalized for trying to enforce their rights.

These are important changes that could make a big difference in the lives of temp agency workers. However, there are still a number of problems which we believe can be fixed as Bill 139 goes through the legislative process (see below for more information).

3. Take action!

We need your support to ensure that Bill 139 is updated and not watered down. Help us make sure this important legislation is passed!

  1. Sign a support card asking your MPP to support Bill 139 and fix the problems. Contact WAC for copies and help get as many signed in your community as possible!
  2. Contact your MPP by mail, phone or through a meeting and ask that your MPP support Bill 139.
  3. Help spread the word in your community about temp workers rights to holiday pay. Download a copy of our public holiday poster and fact sheet. Work with WAC to organize an information session on Bill 139 and the new changes.
  4. Make sure your local temp agencies are paying holiday pay to workers. Email, fax or drop off a letter to agencies in your community – call WAC for copies. Report to WAC agencies that are not paying public holiday pay by phone or through our website.


What needs to be improved in Bill 139?

  1. The Bill does not protect workers who use agencies for permanent job placements. Bill 139 must be expanded to protect these workers from scams and unfair fees.
  2. We need to ensure that temp agency workers have the same rights to termination and severance that all other workers have. Home care agency workers should not have to wait three more years before they get termination and severance rights.
  3. Temp agencies must tell workers in writing what the expected length of assignment will be and make the mark-up fee transparent.
  4. Companies must sign on to the information provided to workers on assignments so that workers won't be left in limbo if there is a dispute and be unable to enforce their rights.
  5. Bill 139 would let agencies charge a fee to companies if workers are hired directly by companies in the first 6 months of an assignment. We need to get rid of this barrier to employment.


Next step for workers:

We still have some big struggles ahead of us! Workers need equal pay and working conditions regardless of being a temp agency worker, on contract or working on our own and the need to make sure all workers have basic workers rights protection. Regulating temp agency work is a critical first step in expanding the Employment Standards Act to address the realities of our workplaces. The next step is to expand workers rights protection for all workers!

Join the Workers' Action Centre campaign - Ontario Workers Need a Fair Deal. We must use this important step forward in regulating precarious work to organize for more improvements for workers.

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