Student Unpaid Placement / Work Experience

Many of Fleming’s students will at some point during their academic career take part in student job unpaid placements and work experience at a variety of businesses within the community specific to their area of study. This is a very important part of the students’ academic experience but it is not without potential hazards and we have to be certain that these are properly addressed. These unpaid placements are usually governed by a contract which outlines the terms, conditions and specifies the insurance and liability responsibilities.

The student unpaid placement / work experience agreements/contracts are sent to our insurer before they are signed and committed to. It is very important that these be dealt with promptly, as the unpaid placement opportunity maybe lost if there is excessive delay.

Smaller organizations will generally not have their own unpaid placement agreement and under those circumstances the College’s generic form is used. This form has been approved for use by our insurers and the College’s legal advisors. When received the nature of the unpaid placement is reviewed by ourselves and a copy of the contract is sent to the Risk Management Department of our insurers. If there are concerns about the nature or hazard of the unpaid placement these concerns are dealt with at that time.

Larger organizations and institutions have their own student unpaid placement contracts. These differ widely from organization to organization and we have to be careful that the College is not assuming some liability under contract for which there is no insurance coverage to back it up. These contracts are sent to us before they are signed and in turn sent to the insurer’s Risk Management Department with our own comments. It may, at that time, be determined that the College’s legal advisors should also review the contract depending on the specifics of the agreement the College is being asked to sign.

Student unpaid placements – Important Notes:

Please refer to section: “Contracts and Contracture Liability”

Students placed at an employer whose employees have coverage under Workplace, Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) Act will also be covered. (More information is available in the Work Education Placement Agreement (WEPA) briefing note.) This coverage is provided under the Ontario Ministry Of Training, Colleges and Universities Workplace Safety and Insurance Board’s agreement with no cost to the unpaid placement employer.

As a general rule unpaid placements outside of the province and outside of the country are discouraged, largely because of differing legal jurisdictions and the practical difficulties in defending an action outside of Ontario and Canada. Contracts for out of province/ country unpaid placements should be prepared well in advance of the start date in order for insurance and legal review and final approval.