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, encouraged business and industry to consider the advantages of working with a PEO. It was more commonly known then, as the employee leasing industry. The biggest hurdles back then, in Canada, were lack of knowledge of the PEO industry, as there basically wasn't any. The difficulty was to get insurers to understand the concept and the various government bodies 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 the main focus.
More recently, Canada has become an attractive country in which to employ people and there has been an increase in demand for the services we offer. There has been a growth in the PEO industry, but mostly of a hybrid nature. Insurers are opening their doors and the various governmental bodies are recognizing PEOs for what they are. There still remains a few stumbling blocks for a lot of companies that call themselves PEOs, namely in Workers Compensation legislation and the 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 for registrations etc, hence the hybrid label. OnPayroll.ca Canada has worked closely with insurers and government bodies to ensure complicance, to take on the responsibility and liability so that the client does not have to. Bill is proud to say, this allows OPC to be a "pure" PEO. We are excited to be able to offer employees competitive benefit plans and worker's compensation in order for our client's to attract and retain employees.