Need for coordinated internship strategy

November 13, 2013

Experts are calling for more co-ordinated efforts towards managing and overseeing internships in Canada. One big issue is that existing legislation regarding internships is provincial, and therefore varies from province to province. "None of the regulations that have to do with internships anywhere in Canada have any mention of number of hours. We don’t have any hours per week or limit on how much interns can work, which in my view is problematic," says Claire Seaborn, a law student who established the Canadian Intern Association. In some provinces, workers compensation boards cover interns’ workplace accidents, others do not. In Alberta, internships that are not affiliated with educational institutions are illegal. Seaborn notes that the “patchwork of legislation” is confusing to interns and employers alike, and says that a "a coordinated effort would be fantastic." Ontario recently announced it is looking into legislation for student interns, and Minister of Labour Yasir Naqvi stated that trainees, interns and co-op students will be included under Ontario's Occupational Health and Safety Act "to ensure they have the same rights and protections as all workers." CBC