In our article last month, we discussed the growing attention being paid to the issue of unpaid internships in Ontario. Since then the Ontario Ministry of Labour has released the results of a second workplace blitz designed to assess whether employers in the province are in compliance with the requirements of the Employment Standards Act, 2000,
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.
This is the first summer that Ontario employers have new liability and responsibility to summer students who are with them in unpaid co-op or internships. The Occupational Health and Safety Act coverage expanded to unpaid co-op students and learners in work placements, effective November 20, 2014.
For employers, this means that unpaid summer co-op students should be subject to the same training, orientation, supervision and safety requirements as paid young workers in the workplace. While some employers might see summer students as a quick fix to cover for vacations and to complete extra projects, employers who commit to the safety and supervision of all students, both paid and unpaid will have more successful short-term and long-term outcomes in their organization.
1. Safety requirements
Occupational Health and Safety basic awareness training
This is now the second summer that the mandatory basic health and safety awareness training for employees is applicable to … Continue reading “Hot tips for summer student workplace supervision, safety and success!”