TORONTO, Dec. 4, 2013 /CNW/ - Students are encouraged by legislation
being tabled today by the Minister of Labour, Yasir Naqvi, that will
extend occupational health and safety protections to students in unpaid
"This is a good first step towards ensuring young workers and students
have access to basic labour rights," said Alastair Woods, Chairperson
of the Canadian Federation of Students-Ontario. "The right to refuse
unsafe work is an important part of improving the working and learning
conditions of students doing unpaid work placements."
The Stronger Workplaces for a Stronger Economy Act includes legislative changes to include students working in unpaid co-op
programs or work placements as part of a diploma or degree program
under the Occupational Healthy and Safety Act.
Currently, students doing work placements as part of a college or
university program are also exempt from the Employment Standards Act. As a result, thousands of students are doing unpaid work in order to
get a diploma or degree, including students in teaching, nursing and
other health programs, social work and community work, hospitality, and
a wide array of other disciplines.
"Students know that work is work, regardless of whether or not you
receive school credit," said Woods. "The Liberal government needs to
work towards eliminating unpaid internships, work placements and co-ops
across the province."
The Canadian Federation of Students-Ontario is the province's largest
student organization, representing more than 300,000 college and
university students at 38 students' unions in all regions of the
SOURCE: Canadian Federation of Students - Ontario
For further information:
Alastair Woods, Chairperson: (647) 378-8942 (cell) or firstname.lastname@example.org
Kaley Kennedy, Communications Coordinator: (647) 302-3891 (cell) or email@example.com