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Ontario considers big changes to Employment Standards Act and Labour Relations Act

For the first time in over 20 years, the Province of Ontario has commissioned an independent report to review both the Employment Standards Act and the Labour Relations Act.

 

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The unpaid internship: Exploitation or opportunity?

The use of unpaid interns has come under increased media and political scrutiny. Fuelled by horror stories of young interns collapsing under extreme workplace pressures, the issue reached the political agenda. In the summer of 2014, the Ontario Ministry of Labour carried out a highly publicized workplace inspection blitz to determine if intern rights were being respected. Rules governing the appropriate use of interns in Ontario are not new. They had been in place long before the summer 2014 blitz. The rules are set out in section 1(2) of the Employment Standards Act.

 

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Ontario Ministry of Labour announces 2014-15 employment standards inspection blitzes

On April 3, 2014, the Ontario Ministry of Labour announced the focus of its 2014-15 Employment Standards Act (ESA) inspection blitzes. A “blitz” occurs when the Ministry of Labour (MOL) decides to have its employment standards officers target industries that have a history of employment standards violations or industries that employ vulnerable workers in order to ensure compliance with the ESA.

 

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Slaw: Ontario’s Ministry of Labour targets employers using unpaid internships

From April to June 2014, the Ontario Ministry of Labour is conducting an employment standards inspection blitz targeting organizations that employ unpaid interns. The goal is to ensure worker rights are protected and enhance employers’ awareness of their responsibilities.

 

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Private member’s bill would curtail unpaid internships

Opposition MPP Jonah Schein has introduced a private member’s bill to place stricter limits on unpaid internships in Ontario. Bill 170, Employment Standards Amendment Act (Greater Protection for Interns and Vulnerable Workers), 2014, doesn’t seek to eliminate unpaid internships entirely, but rather hopes to make employers more accountable and give interns (and students) more legal clout.

 

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HRinfodesk poll result and commentary: Unpaid internships – labour standards, human rights questions

The issue of unpaid work has been a hot topic for quite a while now, and despite efforts by authorities to clarify the legal status, sometimes it seems that employers aren’t understanding it any better. To get a better idea of where our readers stand, we recently asked, Do you have unpaid internships at your organization? Slightly more than 80 percent of respondents said no, they don’t use unpaid interns, while nearly 20 percent said yes, they do. We didn’t ask whether employers are using legal unpaid internships, or whether they know if their internship arrangements are legal, but we’d like to offer our two cents and hopefully help our readers understand what’s legal and what’s not when it comes to unpaid internships.

 

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Careful how you classify ‘interns’: Ministry of Labour releases policy statement

It is a fact of life for some entering the labour market—the unpaid internship. For young workers, it is an opportunity to gain experience in a desired field. For employers, it is an opportunity to have recent graduates perform necessary work or apprenticeship at less cost all while assessing suitability for continued employment. Perhaps the modern internship is best explained by the following…

 

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Illegal? Exploitative? The truth on unpaid internships

With university and college students now finished final exams and looking for summer work, it seems fitting that the latest controversy under the spotlight in the news is that of unpaid internships.

 

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Business perspective on unpaid internships in Canada

young people holding up letters to spell "internships"

This is a follow-up post to my previous post on a business perspective on unpaid internships in the United States.This post deals with more of a Canadian business perspective, and when it comes to internships in Canada, the regulations are anything but clear. There are currently no laws in Canada regulating internships specifically, so provincial employment standards acts are the only form of governance. For the most part, internships in Canada are paid, however in some sectors (media, PR, journalism) internships go often unpaid. In the United States, some candidates are actually paying employers for unpaid internships. Luckily in Canada, things haven’t gone that far. However, Canadians are still fairly unaware of what unpaid internships are all about.

 

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The pros and cons of unpaid internships: a 360° perspective

A closer look at the economic effect of unpaid internships on employers and interns themselves.

 

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Internships and the law

You might have heard or read something in the past few months about internships—their status with respect to employment standards and whether it’s even legal to employ such workers without paying them. It’s no small issue. Many organizations rely on unpaid interns to do work for which they can’t afford to hire an employee proper…

 

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