Sunday, July 15, 2018

Changes to Ontario’s Internship Laws

As of January 1st, 2018, Ontario’s internship laws have changed in three ways.

Effective January 1, 2018, the hourly minimum wage in Ontario is $14 for most employees. The student exemption was broadened to include students interning as part of a private career college program. If you are an interning as part of a university, private career college or other post-secondary institution program, you are likely not entitled to minimum wage.

The definition of worker under the Occupational Health and Safety Act was broadened to include those who intern without pay as part of a private career college program. If you are completing an unpaid internship or training program as part of a university, private career college or other post-secondary institution, you are likely entitled to protections under the Occupational Health and Safety Act.

In Ontario, interns are considered employees and are entitled to minimum wage unless they fall within

(1) The student exemption states that the Employment Standards Act does not apply to an individual who performs work as a part of a program approved by a secondary school board, college of applied arts and technology, private career college, or university. This includes co-ops, internships and other experiential learning placements approved by high schools, colleges of arts and technology, private career colleges, and universities.

(2) The professional exemption states that professionals and students training to join those professions are not entitled to certain employment standards, including minimum wage, hours of work, overtime pay, public holidays, and vacation pay.

As of June 1, 2014, certain students can work off campus without a work permit [R186(v)]. They can work part time (up to 20 hours a week) during a regular academic session and full time during regularly scheduled breaks between academic sessions. For the following:

  • Eligibility requirements
  • Definitions
  • Ineligible programs of study
  • Full-time status
  • Conditions for work
  • Regularly scheduled breaks
  • Off-campus work and completion of a program of studies
Link to Government of Canada Immigration and Citizenship Study permits: Off-campus work Information