Internships-should they be paid?

Work / Education

Internships-should they be paid?

Postby CielOnTap on Wed Jul 24, 2013 11:16 pm

An article about a Canadian student who took her internship employer to court for back wages is making news. The reason? The likelihood that internships will have to become paid as well as offer the promised experiences expected in the positions. They are not to replace existing employees doing existing work. Yet the student's case presented that the internship was about doing existing work and not providing the work experience expected, thus making a claim for back wages owed.

http://www.thestar.com/news/gta/2013/07/22/training_or_work_unpaid_interns_want_companies_to_pay_up.html

Some internships at the post-secondary level are paid. Other positions might offer an allowance for commuting or transit pass to offset travel costs (usually in a large urban area) but not wages. The remaining posts offer no benefits or wages.
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Re: Internships-should they be paid?

Postby CielOnTap on Thu Apr 10, 2014 3:22 pm

In Ontario, unpaid academic internships are not covered by the Employment Standards Act, which sets out minimum wages for many jobs as well as maximum hours of weekly work and holiday pay requirements.

Sadly, a man on his way home from an overnight unpaid internship shift, following his paid work shift at another workplace, crashed his car and has died. http://www.thestar.com/news/gta/2014/04/10/college_student_dies_after_hwy_7_crash_near_trenton.html

Safety needs to be a mandatory part of internships-if working hours to pay for necessities affects availability to do internship hours, is there a way to commit the hours without interfering with work needs?
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Re: Internships-should they be paid?

Postby CielOnTap on Sun May 04, 2014 11:13 am

An update on internships at a Toronto magazine company-a private foundation will be paying for the three interns' terms at the magazine.

http://www.thestar.com/news/gta/2014/05/04/walrus_unpaid_interns_are_back_with_pay.html

The Ontario Ministry of Labour will continue visiting companies in target industries to verify whether internships exist under the scholastic rules in place or not. If not, then those interns should be paid employees.
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Re: Internships-should they be paid?

Postby CielOnTap on Wed Oct 01, 2014 1:01 pm

The Ontario government has to bring about the bill that will extend occupational health and safety rules to student co-operative placements and internships. The chance was lost in May 2014. An Ontario teen on a work placement died during his first week at the work site.
http://www.thestar.com/news/gta/2014/10/01/high_school_coop_student_dies_at_work_placement.html
Keunen was the third Ontario co-op student killed in the last 10 months.

Wayne Affleck was killed in the electrical room of a solar farm in Sunderland last December, and Aaron Murray, died in a car crash in April after an unpaid night shift working as a campus security guard at Trent University in Peterborough.

Last fall, a Star report revealed that co-op students and interns aren’t covered by workplace health and safety laws. In December, the Liberal government introduced legislation that would close the loophole, but when the legislature was dissolved in May for an election, the bill died before being passed into law.

A new bill has now been tabled, but interns still aren’t covered almost a year after the loophole was first exposed.

It’s unclear whether being covered by the Occupational Health and Safety Act, which requires that employees receive safety training and wear protective equipment, would have prevented Keunen’s death.
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