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Ontario increasing protections for temp agency workers

Provincial government proclaims amendment to Workplace Safety and Insurance Act

Ontario is taking action to increase protections for temporary help agency workers. 

The provincial government has proclaimed Schedule 5 of Bill 18, the Stronger Workplaces for a Stronger Economy Act, 2014, an amendment to the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act,1997 (WSIA), to enable a new regulation to better protect temporary help agency workers.  

The amendment will allow for the development of this regulation requiring the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board to impose the costs of an injury suffered by a temporary help agency worker on the client employer.

Currently, when a temporary help agency worker is injured at the workplace of a client employer, the accident costs are imposed on the temporary help agency who supplied the worker, rather than on the client employer. This is the case even though injuries occur at the client workplace, which is controlled by the client who decides what work the temporary help agency workers perform.  

Studies show that temporary help agency workers have higher workers' compensation claim incidence rates than those in standard employment arrangements.

Ontario’s Workplace Safety and Insurance Board currently covers 313,000 employers and 5.3 million workers.

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