Ontario legislation extends labour act to co-op students, interns

December 5, 2013

Ontario’s Minister of Labour Yasir Naqvi has introduced legislation that extends coverage under the Occupational Health and Safety Act to co-op students, trainees, and other unpaid learners. Many student groups and others have been lobbying the government to do more to protect co-op students and interns, and in October Naqvipromised to look into bringing these workers into the labour Act. The Ontario Undergraduate Student Alliance (OUSA) supports this week’s legislation, but remains “concerned about the lack of protections for students in work experiences provided through a PSE institution, and the Ministry's enforcement of Ontario's Employment Standards Act (ESA) for postgraduate unpaid internships.” According to OUSA, “estimates of the number of unpaid internships in Canada range from 100,000 to 300,000 positions.” Legislation Backgrounder | OUSA News Release