It gives me great pleasure to inform CCO’s members and their students that Bill 148: Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs Act, 2017, will soon become law (subject to Royal Assent).
The changes entailed within the legislation come as a significant victory for Ontario’s career colleges. The legislation extends the exemption to career colleges from the Employment Standards Act (ESA), with some potential qualifications. Previously, the legislation required interns from career colleges to be considered employees for the purpose of ESA, and therefore required employers to pay career college students completing their internships at their company.
This created an obvious and unjust bias against the roughly 60% of career colleges in Ontario that offer internship and practicum programs.
Extending the internship exemption to career college students has been a key issue in our advocacy efforts for a long time. It was a highlighted issue during our meetings with MPPs, our Queen’s Park Day in which your association advocates on behalf of the sector, and the issues expressed in our Issues Briefing Book.
With this arbitrary barrier to student success corrected, we have made a great stride closer to our goal of a fair and level playing field for our sector and its students.
We recognize that this achievement is in no uncertain terms a result of the support and dedication of our members. With this in mind, we would like to extend to our member colleges, their staff and students a sincere and heartfelt congratulations.
We look forward to continuing to advocate on behalf of Ontario’s private postsecondary education sector and its students.
Sharon E. Maloney
Chief Executive Office, Career Colleges Ontario