A new policy on temp agencies under consideration at the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board is “inadequate” and fails to “address and rectify the very real dangers temporary employment agencies pose to workers,” a coalition of Toronto-based legal clinics says.
In a submission made to the provincial compensation board, the Workers’ Health and Safety Legal Clinic warns that a new WSIB proposal on insurance premium rates creates “no incentive” for companies using temp agencies to address health and safety issues, and contains no “substantive contemplation” of longstanding concerns raised by worker advocates.
“The policy takes no action to support accident prevention for workers,” says the submission, which was endorsed by a network of legal clinics, labour organizations, and injured worker groups.
Last year, a Star undercover investigation revealed how companies use often poorly-trained temps to limit responsibility for accidents and workplace safety. Temp agencies assume the cost of workers’ injuries at the compensation board, saving their clients money on insurance premiums — which are calculated by injury claims. Research by the Toronto-based Institute for Work and Health suggests companies are contracting out risky work to temps as a way to minimize their costs at the board.