Canada: Crackdown on Unpaid Internships Leads to First Layoffs


The Ontario Ministry of Labour has started cracking down on unpaid internships, and promises to launch an “enforcement blitz” this spring to ensure that the estimated 300,000 Canadians working those unpaid internships are compliant with the Employment Standards Act.

Following complaints regarding two magazines, The Walrus and Toronto Life, an inspection found that several provisions of the law had been violated, “including minimum wage provisions, holiday pay and vacation pay.”

According to the Ministry, the only exceptions made would be for students working under a university or secondary school-approved partnership.

The Walrus will say goodbye to five unpaid interns next week. The magazine had run its program for ten years, while the Toronto Life internship program had been running for almost 20 years. Two unpaid interns at Toronto Life will have to leave as well.

Doug Knight, president of Toronto Life‘s publishing company, St. Joseph Media, commented that they “thought the socially responsible thing to do was at least to provide a bridge for those young people who want to get into the magazine world.”

Source: CBC News.

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