Recruiter says Takhar’s employment agency crackdown will hurt legit operations

A local recruitment firm reacted Tuesday to Ontario Liberal leadership candidate Harinder Takhar‘s proposal for stricter regulation to keep temporary workers from being exploited by placement agencies, saying protecting employees is important but that Takhar’s plan will hurt legitimate firms.

“There is definitely a need to crack down on illegal agencies, but there’s a way to do it without cracking down on the legit ones, making it harder for them to operate,” People Store Staffing Solutions Inc. president John Nalli told YourMississaugaBiz.com.

Mississauga-Erindale MPP Takhar said if he’s named Ontario’s next Premier, the number of temporary workers in any agency will not be allowed to account for more than 25 per cent of the total permanent workforce.

Takhar’s licensing program would also require temporary agencies to pay their workers a minimum of 80 per cent of the fee being charged, create a semi-annual report and allow exemptions for casual seasonal workers.

Nalli said Takhar is correct in his argument that many agencies do not provide temporary workers with access to benefits and protections normally offered to full-time workers. However, Nalli disagreed with the need for a new licensing program, saying the regulations will hurt local companies and efforts to recruit talent.

“Why would you want to limit entrepreneurism?” he asked. “That kills our economy. He obviously doesn’t come from the business world.”

Many foreign workers find temporary manufacturing, retail or hospitality work, but Nalli points out foreign workers are also recruited for highly skilled positions in areas where Canada has a shortage of trained professionals.

Nalli says Canada has a need for more engineers, technicians, processors and other well-compensated professionals. “That’s why we encourage immigration to bring in high-calibre associates because we just don’t have the talent in house,” he said.

Nalli said the last time the Liberal party introduced new employment standards amendments it really hurt the industry.

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