Ask the ExpertCategory: QuestionsTermination of unpaid and/or paid co-op and/or intern
hri_Admin Staff asked 4 years ago

If an employer hires a unpaid and/or paid co-op and/or intern and terminates (with or without cause) the co-op or intern, does the employer have to give notice (Ontario)? In the co-op and/or intern contract, I have, ” If Company Z decides to terminate your employment you will be guaranteed a termination/severance package, which aligns with the Ontario Employment Standards Act (ESA)”. Thanks. 

1 Answers
Glenn Demby Staff answered 4 years ago

You could avoid paying termination notice under Ontario ESA if one of the following applies:

  1. The intern/volunteer has less than 3 months’ continuous employment–in which case employment would be probationary
  2. The intern/volunteer has 3 or more months’ continuous service but the employment qualifies for one of the internship exemptions of Section 5.

RELEVANT ONTARIO ESA PROVISIONS
1. Probationary Basis:
No termination without notice
54 No employer shall terminate the employment of an employee who has been continuously employed for three months or more unless the employer,
(a) has given to the employee written notice of termination in accordance with section 57 or 58 and the notice has expired; or
(b) has complied with section 61.  2000, c. 41, s. 54.

2. Volunteer/Intern Exemption
Other exceptions
(5) This Act does not apply with respect to the following individuals and any person for whom such an individual performs work or from whom such an individual receives compensation:
1. A secondary school student who performs work under a work experience program authorized by the school board that operates the school in which the student is enrolled.
2. An individual who performs work under a program approved by a college of applied arts and technology or a university.
2.1 An individual who performs work under a program that is approved by a private career college registered under the Private Career Colleges Act, 2005 and that meets such criteria as may be prescribed.
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Hope that helps. Glenn