Ontario labour ministry taking steps against illegal internships

Today the Canadian Intern Association received a letter from the Director of Employment Standards at the Ontario Ministry of Labour with information regarding their recent inspection blitzes.

The Canadian Intern Association would like to commend the Ministry of Labour to taking steps towards enforcing the laws surrounding internships in Ontario. We hope that other provinces will follow this example and that employers across Canada will be encouraged to comply with employment standards.

Download the PDF of the letter here

From April 1 to June 15, 2014, the Ministry of Labour conducted a proactive enforcement blitz in sectors known to hire a high proportion of interns. The purpose of the blitz was to promote compliance with the Employment Standards Act, 2000, as well as to educate employers and provide them with information materials.

The inspectors visited 56 employers in sectors such as advertising, public relations, computer systems design, consulting services, and information services and found:

  • 8 employers had no internship programs
  • 13 employers had internship positions that were all exempt
  • 5 employers had internship positions with no contraventions.
  • 17 employers did not have active internship programs at the time of the  inspection
  • 13 employers had internship positions with ESA contraventions

Based on the inspections, the inspectors issued 37 orders for compliance and to pay wages. A total of $48,543 was owed in unpaid wages, vacation pay, and public holiday pay. The inspectors also found violations for wage statements, record keeping, and hours of work.

For more information on the Ontario Ministry of Labour Employment Standards Program’s proactive enforcement efforts click here.

Media can contact Claire Seaborn at 647 528 2348 or claire@internassociation.ca

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