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License for temporary help agencies and recruiters requires proof of OHSA compliance

Strict licensing requirements aim to protect workers rights

As of July 1, 2024, under the Employment Standards Act, 2000 (ESA), all temporary help agencies and recruiters require a license to operate in Ontario.

A temporary help agency is defined as a business that employs persons for the purpose of assigning them to work on a temporary basis for another employer. A recruiter is anyone (individual/sole proprietor, corporation or partnership) who, for a fee, finds/attempts to find employment – temporary or permanent) for prospective employees, or finds/attempts to find employees for a prospective employer.

License applications are to be submitted online. A variety of information and documentation is required to complete the application, including proof of compliance with the ESA, Workplace Safety and Insurance Act, 1997 and the Occupational Health and Safety Act.

NOTE: Temporary help agencies/recruiters who submitted their application prior to July 1, 2024, and are still awaiting a decision, can continue to operate until the ministry notifies them of their approval/denial of a licence.

Temporary help agencies and recruiters operating without a license are subject to monetary penalties or prosecution. An employer knowingly engaging with or utilizing an unlicensed help agency or recruiter can also be penalized.

More information about this new law and the application requirements can be found at

Support for temporary help agencies and recruiters

Workplace Safety & Prevention Services can assist temporary help agencies and recruiters in meeting the Occupational Health and Safety Act component of their applications.

We can help businesses understand their health and safety obligations, roles and responsibilities, and support them in the development of their health and safety program.

Everything you need to support your health and safety journey can be found on our website. Those with an existing safety program may wish to take advantage of a free assessment to identify any gaps in compliance. Those just starting out can access free learning resources, tips, guidelines and more.

Information for businesses who use temporary help agencies and recruiters

As of July 1, 2024, if you utilize a temporary help agency or recruiter to assist with staffing your business, you must ensure they are licensed.

Learn how to check their licence status and other tips for working with temporary help agencies and recruiters.

Published July 5, 2024

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