Ontario Federation of Labour

Ontario Federation of Labour

March 24, 2009 17:35 ET

Protection for Temporary Workers: Bill 139 Submission

OFL to present to legislative hearings 4:50 p.m., Wednesday, March 25, Room 228, Main Legislative Building Queen's Park

Attention: Assignment Editor, Media Editor, News Editor, Government/Political Affairs Editor TORONTO (MEDIA ADVISORY)--(Marketwire - March 24, 2009) - The Ontario government has a duty to strengthen and pass proposed legislation to help workers who are among the most vulnerable in the province, says the Ontario Federation of Labour (OFL).

OFL president Wayne Samuelson will tell a legislative committee that Bill 139 is an important first step, but amendments are required to better protect people who are temporarily employed through agencies.

It is more important now than ever to update the Employment Standards Act to address unfair conditions for temporary workers, says Samuelson. The economic crisis together with the growth of staffing and employment agencies has worsened the situation for people doing precarious work - work that is low-paid, insecure, and not well protected by minimum standards.

Samuelson will outline four crucial amendments to Bill 139:
Include home care workers;
Prevent temporary agency fees for workers;
Remove barriers to permanent employment where workers were placed by agencies;
Ensure temporary workers have equal access to termination and severance pay.

Details are in the OFL submission to the Standing Committee on the Legislative Assembly on Bill 139, an Act to Amend the Employment Standards Act, 2000 in relation to Temporary Help Agencies.

Excerpts from submission: Available at: www.ofl.ca

"Many employers have moved work beyond the protection of employment standards - hiring people indirectly through intermediaries, disguising employment as independent, contracting, and shifting more business costs onto workers who have little power to refuse."

"Low-wage workers, especially women, immigrant and racialized workers, are increasingly working in temporary, contract and part-time work, and juggling two or three jobs without employment benefits or workplace protections."


Contact Information

  • Sheila Keenan, OFL Communications
    Primary Phone: 416-443-7665
    Secondary Phone: 416-737-5798
    Toll-Free: 800-668-9138