Everyone knows that doing a program in school which requires you to have a co-op placement or internship can be a great thing. You get real world experience as part of your school work and it gets you out of the classroom so that you can make contacts in the industry you’re studying.
The only problem of course, is often student don't get paid for any of the work that they do, and working for free isn't exactly appealing.
If you’re hoping that’s going to change soon you’ll be disappointed with the new rules for part-time workers that came into effect this week.
In the recently updated Ontario Employment Standards Act, you can see in both points under the "Other Exceptions" area of the act (photo above) the government will not be making employers pay any interns or co-op students they who are looking complete a certain number of hours as part of a course credit.
The new rules are meant to protect temporary and part-time workers and ensure that everyone is paid equally for the work that they do.
If you’re a student though you’ll still be expected to work under the old rules as part of your coursework, meaning show up, smiling, being friendly and not complaining about how you’re there sometimes all day and not getting paid a cent.
Of course, if you have a job outside of school this is good news for you, it means you can’t be paid less than your coworkers for doing the exact same type of work regardless of gender, race, sexual orientation or anything else.
So, it’s a bit of a good news bad news deal here. Have a job outside school, this is great. Working as part of an internship of co-op program, not so great.
At least you get to network.