OFA provides comments to the Ministry of Labour, Immigration, Trade, and Skills Development (MLITSD) regarding the proposed Temporary Help Agencies and Recruiters Licensing Framework.
OFA supports the notion of greater oversight of temporary help agencies to protect vulnerable workers from abuse and create a fair and balanced workplace environment. While we agree increased oversight of temporary help agencies is warranted, we insist that it must be done in a manner that helps meet the agricultural sector’s labour needs and does not unduly impact the supply of labour or create unworkable barriers.
The consultation discussion paper proposes “that the term “recruiter” would be defined to include any person who, for a fee, finds or attempts to find, employment in Ontario for prospective employees”. And that it “would also include any person who, for a fee, finds or attempts to find, employees for prospective employers in Ontario.” OFA views this proposed definition of “recruiter” as too broad and therefore would require many exemptions to remove unintended persons from the licencing and security requirements. OFA is concerned that such a broad definition could result farm employers no longer having access to job matching and human resources consulting services from their current providers.
OFA believes there is an important distinction to be made between a “recruiter” and those assisting employers to be successful in their recruitment efforts. OFA recommends the government ensure the definition of “recruiter” does not include:
- persons providing fee-for-service human resources consulting to an employer attempting to recruit workers;
- persons offering worker recruitment advice, coaching, and/or training to employers for a fee; and
- persons facilitating employer-employee job matching, including but not limited to hosting a job-fair, advertising job openings, and/or maintaining an online database of available jobs.
OFA also strongly recommends that MLITSD actively communicate new requirements to employers, and any potential for administrative penalties or offences.