Placement of personnel and recruitment of temporary foreign workers

New labour standards have been in effect in Québec since January 1, 2020. The main changes concern the placement of personnel and the recruitment and hiring of temporary foreign workers.

Personnel placement agencies and temporary foreign worker recruitment agencies must have a licence from the CNESST. (French only)

Personnel placement agencies must provide a security deposit to obtain a licence from the CNESST. (French only)

Companies doing business with an agency must make sure that the agency is licensed by the CNESST. (French only)

The CNESST publishes a list of licensed agencies. (French only)

Placement agencies and temporary foreign worker recruitment agencies must meet certain obligations. (French only)

Any agency or client company that fails to comply with the obligations of the Règlement sur les agences de placement de placement et les agences de recrutement de travailleurs étrangers temporaires may be subject to a fine. (French only)

Employers who hire temporary foreign workers must notify the CNESST. (French only)

Employers who would like to apply for an agency licence or declare temporary foreign workers can do so by logging on to Mon Espace CNESST. (French only)


Agency workers

Workers dealing with a personnel placement agency or a temporary foreign worker recruitment agency must verify that the agency has a valid licence and that it is on the list of licensed agencies (French only). The agency is not allowed to operate without a valid licence.

When assigning or recruiting a worker, the agency must give them:


Placement agency worker

A personnel placement agency may not:

  • Charge the worker a fee for an assignment with a client company, for training or for assistance with the hiring process, such as help writing a CV.
  • Prevent a client company from hiring a worker beyond a period of six months from the start of the assignment.

If an agency plans to cease operations or has its licence suspended or revoked, it must notify its workers and let them know when the agency will cease operations.

Temporary foreign worker recruited by an agency

A temporary foreign worker is a foreign national who is staying or wishes to stay in Québec on a temporary basis to work for an employer under the Government of Québec’s Temporary Foreign Worker Program.

To better understand what temporary foreign workers are covered by the regulation, refer to Chapter II, Section II of the Québec Immigration Regulation. (French only)

An employer or temporary foreign worker recruitment agency may not:

  • Request that the temporary foreign worker give them custody of documents or personal belongings such as a passport, work permit or telephone.
  • Charge the temporary foreign worker recruitment fees other than those authorized by a Canadian government program.

The contents of this site are for information purposes only and have no legal value. Should there be any discrepancy between the contents of the site and the texts of official laws and regulations, the latter shall take precedence.

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