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New license required for recruiting agencies in Ontario

The new addition to the Employment Standards Act requires temporary help agencies and recruiting agencies in Ontario to be licensed by January 1, 2024.

If you do not have a license on January 1, 2024 you are prohibited from operating as a temporary help agency or acting as a recruiter unless and until the ministry issues a license to you. Violations of the licensing provisions in the ESA may result in enforcement action, which can include:

  • ordering compliance 
  • issuing monetary penalties 
  • prosecution 

The Ontario Ministry will have a website to check for compliance with information including:

  • license holders, along with the status of their license 
  • applicants seeking a license 
  • any other information that is required to be published under the ESA or its regulations 

What you will need to provide in the application for your license
Here are some examples:

  • contact information, including email addresses, for one or more individuals who may be contacted if the ministry has questions about the application 
  • the address of each location where the applicant carries on business inside and outside of Canada 
  • if the applicant is a corporation, the names and addresses of each corporate officer and director
  • if the applicant is a partnership, the names and addresses of each partner 
  • information with respect to the applicant, corporate officers and directors, and partners about similar applications and licences in other Canadian jurisdictions
  • information about certain criminal convictions of the applicant, corporate officers and directors, or partners, and whether they are subject to a ban under the Ontario Immigration Act, 2015
  • information about other legal persons (which include businesses and individuals) the applicant engages or uses in connection with the recruitment or employment of foreign nationals
  • information about compliance with the: 
  • Employment Standards Act, 2000
  • Employment Protection for Foreign Nationals Act, 2009
  • Occupational Health and Safety Act
  • Workplace Safety and Insurance Act, 1997
  • Tax compliance verification number obtained from the Ontario Ministry of Finance showing tax compliance 
  • an electronic irrevocable letter of credit.

You must submit your application online before January 1, 2024.

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