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Questions about the Termination of Assignment with Temporary Help Agency Provisions

What exactly does this provision do?

The Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs Act adds a new provision to the Employment Standards Act, 2000 (ESA), under section 74.10.1 called Termination of Assignment under Part XVIII.1 Temporary Help Agencies.

This provision states that a temporary help agency (THA) must provide an assignment employee with one week’s written notice or pay in lieu of notice for the termination of an assignment with a client business. The assignment has to have been estimated to last for three months or more and the assignment had to be terminated before the end of its estimated term. The provision also provides for recordkeeping requirements for the THA in relation to the notice provided.

How does an assignment employee qualify for this termination of assignment notice or pay?

The assignment employee must have been assigned to a term estimated to last a minimum of three months, and the term ends before the estimated end date. The assignment employee would be entitled to one week’s notice of termination of assignment or one week’s pay in lieu of notice. The temporary help agency may offer the assignment employee reasonable alternate work with another client within the notice period instead of providing notice.

Why is this significant?

There was no provision for a THA to provide an assignment employee notice of termination of assignment. The termination of assignment notice or pay was intended to assist with the precarious nature of work with a THA.

How is termination of assignment different from termination of employment in the ESA?

When a THA terminates an assignment, it can provide the employee with alternate work for one week at another client business instead of providing the one week termination pay. Much like termination of employment, if the employee is guilty of a wilful misconduct, disobedience or neglect of duty with either the THA or the client, there is no entitlement to termination of assignment pay in lieu of notice. Unlike termination of employment, which takes into account the length of employment, the notice or pay in lieu of notice for termination of assignment is limited to one week, no matter how long the employee has been employed with the Temporary Help Agency.

Can Termination of Assignment Pay be used to off-set termination of employment notice or pay that is owing?

Any previously paid Termination of Assignment pay will not be taken into account if the employment with the THA is terminated. The termination of assignment pay is for the ending of the assignment with a client business and the termination of employment pay is for the termination with the THA. If an employee is terminated from the THA, they would not receive termination of assignment pay for the ending of any client business relationships.

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