Latest Details on Licencing for Agencies

Front Line Health Care is compliant with the new licensing path…..

Who is required to have a licence

The licensing requirements apply to temporary help agencies and recruiters. These terms are defined in the ESA and its regulations.

Temporary help agencies

temporary help agency is an employer that employs persons for the purpose of assigning them to perform work on a temporary basis for clients of the employer. If a temporary help agency is located outside of Ontario, but assigns employees to work in Ontario, the licensing requirements apply.

Learn more about what is a temporary help agency under the ESA.


recruiter is any person who, for a fee, finds or attempts to find employment in Ontario for prospective employees, or finds, or attempts to find, employees for prospective employers in Ontario, but does not include the following:

  • an employee who performs the functions described above as a duty of the employee’s position
  • an employer who finds or attempts to find employees to be employed in the employer’s own organization
  • certain educational institutions
  • a trade union
  • a registered charity
  • a person who:
    • is party to an agreement with the government (federal, provincial or municipal) to find or attempt to find employment in Ontario for prospective employees or to find or attempt to find employees for prospective employers in Ontario, and
    • does not perform these functions outside of those government agreements
  • a person who:

A recruiter does not have to be located in Ontario for the licensing requirements to apply.

Learn more about who is a recruiter under the ESA.

Every legal entity must apply separately

Every legal entity that operates as a temporary help agency or that acts as a recruiter must apply for a licence. Legal entities that are treated as one employer under s. 4 of the Employment Standards Act, 2000 must apply separately. Each application requires an application fee and a letter of credit.

If a legal entity operates as a temporary help agency and acts as a recruiter, it must submit two separate applications: one to operate as a temporary help agency and one to act as a recruiter. Each application requires a separate application fee and separate letter of credit.

Important dates for licensing requirements

Temporary help agencies and recruiters can apply for a licence starting in July 2023 and are prohibited from operating without a licence starting January 1, 2024, unless the transitional rule applies.

Transitional rule for applications submitted before January 1, 2024

If you submitted your application before January 1, 2024 and have not received a decision on your application from the ministry by January 1, 2024, you are allowed to continue to operate as a temporary help agency or act as a recruiter on and after January 1, 2024. This applies until the ministry notifies you either that a licence has been issued or that the application for a licence has been refused.

Learn what happens if your application is refused.

Applications submitted on or after January 1, 2024

If you apply on or after January 1, 2024, you are prohibited from operating as a temporary help agency or acting as a recruiter unless and until the ministry issues a licence to you.

Violations of the licensing provisions in the ESA may result in enforcement action, which can include:

  • ordering compliance
  • issuing monetary penalties
  • prosecution