Current Government Relations Report

reportMarch 2024 Report

A primary objective of ACSESS is to actively represent the industry and our membership before governments by providing input on employment legislation and regulations at the national and provincial levels. At the same time, ACSESS assumes a leadership role in ensuring that industry members are aware of legislation and regulatory changes which may affect their businesses and responsibilities as employers.

Since our last report to members, ACSESS has continued to make our industry's views known across a wide range of policy issues. We have represented members on several public policy fronts, including industry licensing, rate reform consultations, pay transparency, employment standards and federal procurement. Since our last report, our focus has been on licensing consultations as part of our continued efforts to ensure that our recommendations for improvement to the framework are adopted and relationship building with key government officials on a national scale.

Because of the unique attributes of staffing and recruitment in Canada, a major focus of the association’s advocacy is to proactively ensure that labour and employment laws do not impede staffing agency operations or unnecessarily increase costs, which could reduce labor market flexibility. In its most recent economic report, Staffing Industry Analysts recognizes Canada as the market with the least regulations and legislative restrictions in the world.

ACSESS continues to assume a leadership role in ensuring that industry members are aware of legislative and regulatory changes on a national scale which if implemented may affect their businesses.  Our national committee and sub-commitments continue to actively monitor legislative developments in all provinces on a wide range of industry specific policy issues.

FLAG_ALBERTAAlberta – In early April 2024, as part of our ongoing efforts to build and maintain relationships with key ministers in all provinces, ACSESS will be meeting with Minister Matt Jones, Minister of Jobs, Economy and Trade to introduce ACSESS and highlight the important contributions of industry and discuss potential partnership opportunities. Service Alberta (in consultation with ACSESS) has developed a compliance standards document to assist staffing and recruitment firms and ensure compliance under the Consumer Protection Act and the Employment Agency Business Licensing Regulation. The standards and interpretations will address the most frequently asked questions and the most significant issues from an enforcement and compliance perspective.


A flag with a sun and a flag

Description automatically generatedBritish Columbia – As previously reported, the B.C. government passed Bill 13, the 2023 Pay Transparency Act. Prior to finalizing the regulations, the province will be consulting with employers and other organizations, including unions, Indigenous organizations, and other equity-seeking groups, to further its efforts to reduce the gender pay gap in B.C. While both pay transparency and pay equity legislation are concerned with the principle of equal work for equal pay, pay transparency legislation focuses on promoting access to workplace pay-related information, whereas pay equity legislation deals with the pay trends in historically gendered roles and places a legal obligation on certain employers to assess and remedy any gender pay gaps within their workplaces.  

ACSESS will continue to work closely with the BC government to ensure fair application of new reporting requirements in an effort to ease the administrative burden on industry employers.



Ontario - In December, 2023, the Ontario government published a regulation amending O. Reg. 99/23 (Licensing – Temporary Help Agencies and Recruiters) to extend the permitted time frame for licensing applications from January 1, 2024 to July 1, 2024.

ACSESS government relations committee continues to work closely with the Minister’s policy team on potential amendments to the licensing framework and to address unintended consequences including the dual application requirement. We also reaffirmed the need to consider a surety bond as the preferred form of security requirement (to replace existing Letter of Credit requirement). 

We are very pleased to report that the new Minister (David Piccini) recognizes ACSESS committee contributions (having worked closely with his predecessor) and is very appreciative of our members longstanding commitment to licensing and upholding the highest ethical standards. The MLTSD policy team has agreed to continue to partner with ACSESS to ensure that the new regime – when launched – is effective and meaningful in achieving its goals. Minister David Piccini recognizes the ACSESS experience and expertise in working with other provinces on similar frameworks and remains committed to industry licensing for staffing and recruitment firms in Ontario.

Backgrounder:  ACSESS, a primary stakeholder, worked closely with Ministry staff on the drafting of the regulations for industry licensing in Ontario. The regulations will include new penalties on firms that violate basic safety and employment standards, posting of a surety bond and new vetting requirements prior to the issuance of a license. As part of its mandate, ACSESS has long supported and advocated for initiatives to ensure that all temporary help agencies (THAs) comply with their legal obligations. This creates a level playing field for ACSESS member agencies and results in a fairer industry for THAs, their clients and assignment employees alike. 

Consistent with this longstanding position, ACSESS supports the creation of a licensing regime for THAs, provided that the government is committed to investing the resources needed to ensure that any such regime is meaningful and effective in achieving its goals, which must include holding accountable unethical and illegal THAs that tarnish the reputation of the entire industry

The Portable Benefits Advisory Panel was established in Ontario to report on the viability, design and implementation of a program that could provide portable benefits to millions of workers who change jobs often and may not have access to employer-provided benefits. The Panel will issue a report with their recommendations next year.   The Panel identified ACSESS as an important stakeholder during this process and the have requested our perspective and input as they develop their recommendations later this Spring.   


Quebec Committee

Goal: Monitor industry issues unique to the province in the area of labour standards and employment legislation and protect the interests of our membership in their dealings with Quebec's governmental departments, boards and agencies.

FLAG_QUEBECIn Quebec, the government adopted new requirements for the Attestation (Revenu Quebec) and the license issued by the Ministry of Labour (CNESST). Staffing firms in the province will now require appropriate clearance from Revenu Québec not only to obtain or renew a CNESST license but also to maintain the license. To alleviate the administrative burden on industry, staffing firms will no longer be required to provide a copy of the attestation to clients. While clients will still be required to ensure that the staffing firm has a license, they will not be required to verify attestation requirements.

ACSESS committee continues to work closely with CNESST and Revenu Québec on the application of licensing provisions all in an effort to encourage continued enforcement efforts and reduce red tape.

The Quebec government has announced plans to phase out the use of staffing firms to staff the public health-care system by 2026. In early April 2023, Bill 10 was adopted unanimously in the national assembly. The bill is built on the principle that using staffing firms should be the exception rather than the rule. The Health Ministry will be able to fix a maximum hourly rate that

Quebec would pay employees, referred to by the province as independent workers. Quebec will also be able to decide which health institutions can and cannot contract with staffing firms.

ACSESS Quebec chapter will be hosting a policy event later this Spring on new developments in labour and employment law as well as new privacy legislation in the province.


Occupational Health & Safety Committee

Goal: To monitor WSIB / OH & S policies for the industry and protect the interests of ACSESS members with respect to workers’ compensation and health and safety issues in general.

ACSESS continues to sponsor the Excellence program for the Staffing Services industry in partnership with WSIB. We are also exploring similar prevention initiatives in other provinces.

Workplace health and safety is a top priority for ACSESS members on a national scale. ACSESS maintains alliances with workers compensation boards in all provinces to help raise staffing firm and client awareness of their respective responsibilities for temporary and contract workers. At the same time, ACSESS works to educate provincial boards in the areas of rate reform and the benefits of industry prevention initiatives.


For more information please contact Mary McIninch, Director of Government Relations at 905-826-6869 or email

The above Report is also available for downloading and printing in PDF format.

Download PDF