Here we go again. Another well-known Canadian company seeks unpaid interns and the advertisement clearly shows the position would violate employment laws. WIND Mobile has posted TEN positions (see below) all of which state they are seeking an “Unpaid Summer Intern to join our Toronto [or Mississauga] Office.” Here are all the internship positions (the links are to PDF versions of WIND Mobile’s advertisements that I have saved onto our site in case they are taken down):
- Marketing Intern
- Lease Administrative Assistant and Support Intern
- Lease Administration Intern
- Knowledge Management Specialist Intern
- Junior Planning Engineer Intern
- Junior Device Tester Intern
- Devices Intern
- Human Resources Intern
- General Administration Intern
- Desktop Support – Summer Intern
WIND Mobile is sitting on our Name & Shame Wall for a number of reasons:
- These jobs are disguised as internships and breaking the law. They are unlikely to meet the criteria for an exemption under s. 1(2) of Ontario’s Employment Standards Act (read more here) and the interns would also be considered an employee under the federal Canada Labour Code (read more here). It appears these interns would be entitled to Ontario’s minimum wage of $10.25 an hour.
- The nature of the work is highly skilled creating a further entitlement for pay. Some examples of work requirement in the advertisements: “system and hardware troubleshooting,” “handle unlock codes request,” “develop and Accessory Deck for each device,” “recruitment / job fair coordination,” “day to day HR admin support.” Many of the postings have certain educational requirements such as “Bachelors Degree,” “University degree or college diploma in HR,” “Bachelors Degree in Science or Engineering,” and “University or College Diploma in Marketing, Communications, or Business.”
- These interns are replacing what should be paid positions. Although the advertisements mainly state “part-time” and no hours are listed, it is clear from the roles and responsibilities that these interns are doing work that is necessary for the functioning of the company and taking away a paid position.
The Canadian Intern Association is calling on WIND Mobile to comply with Canada’s employment laws and pay the interns who fill these positions at least the minimum wage. We also want to remind WIND Mobile that this is not only a legal issue, but a corporate social responsibility issue since providing only unpaid positions prevents those people who cannot afford the internship for joining your company. These internships are also contributing to currently high youth unemployment rates and making it difficult for students to pay back large student loans with a summer job.
We hope to bring these issues to WIND Mobile’s attention and we would appreciate help from anyone that can help us do that!
– Claire Seaborn
Also, take a look at www.youthandwork.com’s post “Why Can’t WIND Mobile Pay Their Interns?” It explains that as a federally regulated company, WIND Mobile’s internships are prohibited under the Canada Labour Code:
Under “Hours of Work – 802-1-IPG-002“, a policy directive published by Federal Department of Labour, it states that training scheme of longer durations where a person is performing aspects of a job a de-facto employment relationship develops and the person must be compensated for the hours that they work. Legalities aside, posting multiple unpaid internships like this reeks of exploitation by a corporate giant that could easily pay the minimum wage.
FYI, here is the Indeed.com job search page that shows all the internship postings: