The Eagle Blog

ESA Day … or Bill 139 Day!

Bill 139 comes into effect today … a bill designed to protect “vulnerable workers”. Nobody will argue with providing protection for vulnerable workers … but we already had labour laws, so what does Bill 139 do for them? Well the answer is that it will mean LESS jobs for vulnerable workers AND it does serious damage to an industry that provides employment for thousands of people and generates annual revenues of $8 Billion … good job Premier McGuinty!

1. It ONLY applies to temporary help companies … any other employer can still hire a temporary employee directly, and the law does not apply to them.
2. It makes the business of supplying temporary help riskier and administratively more burdensome … roughly translated as a business owner, it is more expensive to be in the temporary help business in Ontario today.
3. SOME companies will just go deeper underground. Those companies who abused people’s rights before will continue to do so … just deeper underground.
4. Legitimate businesses have been forced to introduce new operating processes, more controls and find ways to reduce their risks. They will avoid situations that could “cost them” … so vulnerable workers will see less job opportunities.
5. There is a suggestion that this will result in more “full time” jobs. The reality is that companies need a flexible workforce for many, many different business reasons. Those reasons don’t change, it just gets more expensive to bring in temps in Ontario.
6. Companies will not want to increase costs any time, but particularly now as we recover from the recession. So … they will either find ways to do the work outside Ontario or they will do less work. Either way it means less jobs in Ontario.

Government intervention is not going to trump business realities.

This bill was driven by an agenda that suggests temporary work is undesirable and that everyone should have full time jobs. This is a very simplistic look at the world … if you eliminate the possibility of temporary work it will NOT result in full time jobs. Temporary workers bring value to companies because of their flexibility, and very often they are hired into full time work by those companies as it makes business sense. A flexible workforce is a reality … and temporary jobs provide income, opportunity, training, exposure to new skills and opportunity for full time work.

So what about the implementation of Bill 139 … another farce!

> The Ontario government TODAY posted some information on their website as guidance to industry on the implementation and interpretation of Bill 139.
> The Ontario Government TODAY supplied the information sheet that agencies are supposed to supply to temps starting today.
> Uncertainty will have another big negative affect on productivity in our industry.

Our government’s handling of this implementation has been a farce, not because of the bureaucrats … they do the best they can. It is their political masters who implement moronic bills and these guys are supposed to implement them … good luck with that!

As an industry we will survive, but I can’t rationalise why this government would cause so much damage to an $8 Billion industry with such ill conceived legislation.

So … as I have said before, McGuinty’s government got it wrong and Minister Fonseca refused to listen to reason!! It is clear to everyone who understands this industry that Bill 139 is going to cost vulnerable workers jobs … but I guess if they aren’t working they can’t be exploited by the bad guys!

(I think I suggested where McGuinty and Fonseca had their heads in a previous post … they are still there!)

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