Prevention System Updates

Ontario reintroduces bill protecting unpaid learners and temporary workers

Release Date:  Aug 18, 2014

Labour Minister Kevin Flynn has reintroduced draft legislation that broadens safety protection for unpaid learners and temporary workers. The original bill died on the order table when the provincial government dissolved Parliament and called the spring 2014 election.

Among a number of changes, Bill 18, Stronger Workplaces for a Stronger Economy Act, 2014 would amend the

  • Occupational Health and Safety Act's definition of worker to include co-op students, trainees and interns as unpaid workers
  • Workplace Safety and Insurance Act to make clients of temporary help agencies responsible for the injury costs of temporary workers.

The amendment defines "worker" as

  1. a person who performs work or supplies services for monetary compensation
  2. a secondary school student who performs work or supplies services for no monetary compensation under a work experience program authorized by the school board that operates the school in which the student is enrolled
  3. a person who performs work or supplies services for no monetary compensation under a program approved by a college of applied arts and technology, university or other post-secondary institution
  4. a person who receives training from an employer, but who, under the Employment Standards Act, 2000, is not an employee for the purposes of that Act because the conditions set out in subsection 1 (2) of that Act have been met
  5. such other persons as may be prescribed who perform work or supply services to an employer for no monetary compensation.

Reintroducing the bill indicates the Ministry of Labour's commitment to protecting these vulnerable workers. Bill 18 must still pass through certain stages before becoming law, including a second reading, review by committee, third reading, a final vote, and Royal Assent.

How WSPS can help

From comprehensive course offerings to consulting expertise, Workplace Safety & Prevention Services can help you achieve Bill 18's goal of creating and sustaining a safe, healthy and productive workplace for all workers. For example: