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ACTA’s Aug. 19 webinar tackles home-based agent/ IC overview

TORONTO — ACTA is once again joining forces with HR à La Carte for an informational webinar for the trade, this time focused on the Independent Travel Agent model.

The webinar is scheduled to take place on Aug. 19 and is the latest in a series of webinars presented by ACTA, aimed at helping travel agents navigate the uncharted waters of the COVID-19 pandemic and its many challenges for the retail travel industry.

The webinar is open to ACTA members as well as non-members. Information is available on the ACTA website and there will be a charge for non-members to attend the webinar.

The pandemic has some agents rethinking their business model, with many of those making the move to becoming independent contractors. Host agencies have reported an uptick in the number of inquiries from agents looking to become home-based / ICs.

Says ACTA President, Wendy Paradis: “It is important that travel agency owners and independent travel agents understand employment standards and CRA implications before embarking on an independent contractor relationship. Unlike any other event in history, the COVID-19 crisis has had a significant and unprecedented financial impact on the Canadian and global travel industry and we are seeing more agents becoming independent contractors.”

Paradis adds that ACTA has developed or updated a number of tools recently to assist members to successfully navigate the pandemic.

“Over the past several weeks, a number of travel agencies owners have requested information regarding Independent travel agent / independent contractor (IC) contracts. With this in mind, ACTA has been working with human resource specialists, HR à la Carte, to develop and provide generic tools for members as they explore a variety of business model initiatives over the coming months,” says Paradis.

Paradis notes that the following tools are now available on the ACTA website (click on Member Resources/Business Tools):

. An Independent Contractor contract template available free of charge to Members and $250 for non members.

. A link to the 2019 CRA document ‘Employee or Self-employed?’

. A webinar recording, ‘A Review of the Independent Contractor/Outside Agent/Home Based Agent Agreement from Both Sides of the Fence’, a previously recorded webinar hosted by ACTA that was presented by travel industry specialists, law firm of Heifetz, Crozier, Law


Paradis also notes that in the past several weeks ACTA has received requests for a travel waiver that could be used with clients in light of the new complexities with the COVID-19 pandemic.

ACTA now has a document available to members in the member resource section of its website.

The Waiver of Rights and Release of Liability was prepared by ACTA’s legal counsel. However Paradis notes that while ACTA is sharing this information as a resource tool for ACTA members, it is recommended that travel agency owners and managers consult independent professional legal resources when it comes to understanding the travel agent-client relationship and potential liabilities.

As agents deal with the myriad uncertainties involved with travel post-pandemic, the new document can be a helpful tool, adds Paradis. Accompanying the waiver is a document titled ‘Legal Notice and Terms of Use.’ ACTA has copyright of the Waiver of Rights and Release of Liability. An ACTA member “in good standing may use the information in connection with its business and may share it with that member’s management, staff, independent travel agents who are also members of ACTA or legal advisors, but may not otherwise disseminate it to any other person without ACTA’s prior written consent,” says ACTA.

The document is complimentary with ACTA membership and $250 for non-members.