Radio France features International Coalition for Fair Internships

Yesterday Radio France program “Le Mouv”  did a feature on interns in France after President Holland promised to better regulate internships and limit abuse. Story details can be found here and here.

The feature discussed the International Coalition for Fair Internships (ww.fairinternships.org), a collective of groups advocating to improve conditions for interns around the world. The Canadian Intern Association is one of 11 member organizations, and Claire Seaborn was invited on the show to discuss the state of internships in Canada.

Listen to the full story here:

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Ontario Labour Minister Tables Bill To Protect Precarious Workers, Including Unpaid Interns

Today Ontario Labour Minister Yasir Naqvi tabled the Stronger Workplaces for a Stronger Economy Act, 2013 (full document at the end of this post), which amends five statutes relating to employment and labour relations and will protect precarious workers, including unpaid interns.

Under the proposed legislation, new protections are afforded to high school, university, college and co-op students, and interns (trainees), and amend current stipulations regarding filing claims for unpaid wages. We’ve broken down what the new labour legislation would mean for young people who find themselves in any of these forms of precarious employment below.

Listen to Claire Seaborn discuss the bill on News Radio 919 McLean in the Morning:

NEW PROTECTIONS UNDER OCCUPATIONAL HEALTH AND SAFETY ACT

  • Schedule 4.1.1 – 4.1.5 of the proposed legislation, broadens the definition of ‘worker’ to include co-op, high school and university/college students, as well as unpaid interns.
  • By broadening the definition of ‘worker’ in this way, employers would be responsible and held to account for their employees under the Occupational Health and Safety Act. More importantly, these young people would have equal protections under the act as other workers.

AMENDMENTS TO REGULATIONS REGARDING FILING CLAIMS FOR UNPAID WAGES

  • Schedule 2.6.1 – 2.6.4 of the proposed legislation would increase the current time limit allowed to file a complaint to the Ministry of Labour for unpaid wages from 6 months to 2 years.
  • With more time provided to file a claim, unpaid interns also have more time to collect necessary documentation for claim submission, and seek advice if necessary.
  • Under Schedule 2.5.4 of the proposed legislation, Section 103 of the Employment Standards Act, 2000 would be amended to remove the $10,000 maximum cap on unpaid wages.
  • By removing the cap on unpaid wages, this would create a clearer route for claimants who are entitled to minimum wage to receive the total amount owed.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES TO ENFORCE EXISTING EMPLOYMENT LAWS

  • Finally, it is likely that this new legislation will come with additional resources to enforce existing employment laws, and hopefully transition towards a proactive approach of holding employers accountable and maintaining young workers’ rights.

We here are the Canadian Intern Association are ecstatic that the Ontario government is taking action and responding to the plight of young workers and unpaid interns in the province. This is a HUGE victory for our movement in Ontario and we thank all those who have joined us in lobbying the government and those who have kept the conversation going. We hope to see other provinces and territories follow this example and take similar efforts to change their employment laws.

Check out the full document – Stronger Workplaces for a Stronger Economy Act, 2013

New Brunswick radio station interviews CIA President

This morning Tyler McLean from News 91.9 in Moncton, New Brunswick interviewed Claire Seaborn, President of the Canadian Intern Association.

CLICK HERE TO LISTEN TO THE INTERVIEW

The interview followed the Toronto Star’s coverage of internship issues by Zoe McKnight:

http://www.internassociation.ca/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/Website.pdf

Taking Charge of Change: International Youth Day 2013

Though a couple of months late, we thought we would share with you our experience at the Canadian Labour Congress’ Taking Charge of Change event in August, which also happened to fall on International Youth Day.

The evening consisted of Pecha Kucha talks from young workers, youth activists, and local youth-led organizations. It was also an opportunity to connect with other motivated and passionate individuals and organizations in the Ottawa-Gatineau community, within the labour movement, and with young people across Ontario, more generally.

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As the representative from the Canadian Intern Association, I discussed the issue of unpaid internships in Canada and highlighted our Claim Back Your Pay campaign, some of our more notable successes in the last year, as well as our objectives for the near future. Finally, I made sure to give a huge shout out to all those who support us and those who continue to keep the issue of unpaid internships in the spotlight.

We can’t thank you enough!

– Barbara

The Canadian Internship Survey / Enquête sur les stages au Canada

Calling all interns! Please take a few minutes to complete the Canadian Internship Survey:

CLICK HERE TO COMPLETE THE SURVEY (in english)

The Canadian Intern Association has partnered with University of Victoria Masters of Public Administration students James Attfield and Isabelle Couture to address the gap in knowledge surrounding unpaid internships in Canada. They are undertaking a project to explore the state of unpaid internships and examine the experiences of interns. As part of this project, they have initiated a short survey to gain a better understanding of the effects of unpaid internships and who they affect. The researchers are also interested in hearing the first-hand accounts of interns and interviews will be conducted with interested individuals.

For further information on this project or the researchers you may contact James Attfield jamesattfield@gmail.com.

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Appel à tous les stagiaires francophones! L’enquête sur les stages au Canada est maintenant disponible en ligne en français. Parlez-nous de votre expérience en tant que stagiaire et remplissez ce court sondage pour la première étude de ce genre au Canada.

CLIQUEZ ICI POUR REMPLIR L’ENQUETE (en français)