Bill Smyth started his first Professional Employer Organization (PEO) in Canada in 1989, well ahead of trend in this country. The industry was in its infancy at that point in the United States, but the U.S. had significantly more benefits which attracted entrants and encouraged business and industry to consider the advantages of working with a PEO, more commonly known then as the employee leasing industry. The biggest hurdles back then in Canada were lack of knowledge of the PEO industry in Canada as there basically wasn't any, the difficulty to get insurers to understand the concept and the various government bodies that refused to accept the notion. Bill Smyth accordingly spent the next numerous years building his payroll outsourcing business. A few PEO clients were maintained, but that side of the business was not promoted.
More recently, there has been a growth in the industry, but mostly of a hybrid nature. Insurers are opening their doors and the various governmental bodies are recognizing PEOs for what they are. However, one that still remains a stumbling block for a lot of PEOs is in Workers Compensation legislation and their tough legislation in health care responsibilities for employers. Many PEOs are not willing to take on that liability and have the client become responsible instead, hence the hybrid label. OnPayroll.ca Canada does take on this liability and Bill is proud to say, this allows us to call ourselves a "pure" PEO.