Ontario will adopt unique measures to protect foreign workers
The government will pay special attention to firms that exploit foreign workers.
All agencies and recruiters working in the province must now be licensed. Organizations without a license will be subject to fines. In addition, they may be required to return the illegal fees to the victims. The government will also set up a separate team of officers to deal with illegal recruiters.
The purpose of the law is to stop organizations that violate the rights of temporary workers, including paying them less than the minimum wage.
As Monte McNaughton, Minister of Labour, Training and Skills Development, announced, this law could be the toughest of its kind in all of Canada. But it will provide unprecedented protection for workers.
More than 2,000 temporary help agencies in Ontario employ Canadians and immigrants for seasonal work. Some firms have been found to be in violation of Ontario labour law. For example, inspectors found $3.3 million CAD in unpaid wages.
If the law is passed, agencies will need licenses as early as 2024.
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