Policy/Program Memorandum No. 76A-95


Issued under the authority of the Deputy Minister of Education

Date of Issue: December 6, 1995 Effective: Until revoked or modified
Subject: WORKERS' COMPENSATION COVERAGE FOR STUDENTS IN WORK EDUCATION PROGRAMS
Application: Regional Directors of Education
Directors of Education
Principals of Secondary Schools
Principals of Provincial Schools
Reference: This memorandum replaces Policy/Program Memorandum No. 76A, August 26, 1992.

Coverage Under the Workers' Compensation Act

In 1983, coverage under the Workers' Compensation Act was implemented for students involved in work education programs, including work experience and co-operative education programs. Coverage was added in 1987 to include students in the Supervised Alternative Learning for Excused Pupils program (SALEP).

In all of these programs, local commercial enterprises and community agencies work with school boards to provide students with experiential learning opportunities. Because the emphasis of these programs is on educational experience rather than productivity, students do not normally receive wages. Although some students may receive expense allowances or honoraria, these do not necessarily give them employee status. Consequently, the training organizations may not be able to provide coverage under the Workers' Compensation Act, since only employees on their payrolls are eligible. Before a student is placed with an employer, boards should determine whether the student will be covered by the employer.

Obtaining of Coverage

To ensure Workers' Compensation coverage, an agreement must be made by the parties concerned before the student starts at the training station. School boards have the option of using either the Work Education Agreement form for individual students or the Work Education Agreement form for multiple students. One of these forms should be completed for students in co-operative education, SALEP, or work experience programs who are not receiving wages or are not covered by their employer.

On the form for individual students, the student's signature must appear, indicating consent to the conditions of coverage in the agreement. The consent of a parent or guardian is also required if a student is under eighteen years of age. (This requirement is still valid despite the fact that the Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act gives students who are sixteen years old the right to protection of their personal information.)

If the form for multiple students is used, addenda to the agreement must include:

  1. the home address and telephone number of each student;
  2. the specific days and hours when each student will be at the training station;
  3. the consent of each student to the conditions of coverage specified on the Work Education Agreement form. The consent of a parent or guardian is also required if a student is under eighteen years of age.

A Work Education Agreement form must also be completed for students who are participating for more than one day in job shadowing or "job twinning" in which they are involved in hands-on work, provided that they are at least fourteen years of age. Coverage is not provided for students under fourteen. Job-shadowing or job-twinning experiences lasting one day should be treated as field trips; that is, all the necessary forms that apply to field trips should be completed for students involved in these experiences.

Conditions of Coverage

  1. Students are covered under the Workers' Compensation Act during the time they spend under supervision at the training station.
  2. Students are covered when their training station is located on board property, and when they are supervised by non-teaching staff members (for example, building custodians, electrical maintenance supervisors, audio-visual technicians, or purchasing officers).
  3. Students are covered when assigned to placements that do not have compulsory Workers' Compensation coverage (e.g., banks), since they are considered to be employees of the Ministry of Education and Training.
  4. Students enrolled in the Ontario Youth Apprenticeship Program are covered under the Workers' Compensation Act before they become registered apprentices. Once they are registered under the Trades Qualification and Apprenticeship Act, the employer assumes the responsibility for providing coverage.
  5. Students enrolled in international co-operative education programs are covered under the Workers' Compensation Act for up to six months while at their work placement in the host country.
  6. Students are not covered when travelling to and from the training station.
  7. Students are not covered when working as teacher aides in a classroom or shop in a school. It would not be fair to cover only the co-operative education students in a classroom and not the other students. Also, in a traditional school placement, students are under the constant supervision of teachers, and teachers have greater control over the working conditions in a classroom setting than they have over the working conditions in a placement in the community. The Workers' Compensation Board of Ontario table of accident rates by type of industry shows that the level of risk is generally much higher in jobs in the community. The ministry's main concern is to provide coverage for students in placements in the higher-risk areas.
  8. Students are not covered during the time that they are in training for, or are participating in, individual or team sports. Amateur or professional athletes are not covered under the Workers' Compensation Act.

Benefits

The Workers' Compensation Act provides for compensation, medical aid, rehabilitation services, and disability pensions for employees injured in on-the-job accidents. See the Workers' Compensation Board pamphlets for additional details regarding benefits. These pamphlets are available from local Workers' Compensation Board offices.

For the purpose of Workers' Compensation coverage, students are deemed to be employees of the Ministry of Education and Training, although they do not receive wages. For the purpose of calculating Workers' Compensation benefits, the deemed rate of pay for an injured student is the general hourly rate according to current minimum-wage legislation.

If a student has an accident during unpaid co-operative education hours that results in loss of time, and if the accident results in loss of wages from a part-time job not connected with the co-operative education program, the student is entitled to compensation for the hours missed at that part-time job. Details regarding the student's part-time job (i.e., number of hours worked weekly and pay rate) must be provided to the Workers' Compensation Board.

Reporting Procedures and Claims

Any injury, however minor, to a student in a work education program should be reported by the student to the employer and to the appropriate teacher with full details, including when, where, and how the injury occurred. Accidents requiring only first-aid treatment do not have to be reported to the Workers' Compensation Board, but a record of the details must be kept by the school board. If medical treatment by a doctor, dentist, hospital, or other treatment agency is required, or if an accident results in loss of time from the program, a report must be sent by the school board representative to the Workers' Compensation Board.

In the case of an accident, the Employers' Report of Accidental Injury or Industrial Disease (form 7A) must be submitted by the school board representative within three (3) days of the accident. There is a $250.00 fine for late filing of this report. The original copy of the report, with a copy of the Work Education Agreement, must be received by the Workers' Compensation Board within seven (7) working days of the accident. This information must also be sent at the same time to the Ministry of Education and Training. The school board representative must ensure that the name and address of the training organization, as well as the name and telephone number of the training supervisor, are provided on form 7A. Incomplete reports may be filed to comply with the three-day requirement, if all pertinent information is not readily available. However, a completed report must follow as soon as all details have been gathered. Copies of this form, with the preprinted firm name (Ministry of Education and Training - Work Education Program) and number (250379-FJ), are available from:

Ministry of Education and Training
Distribution Centre
95 Brown's Line
Etobicoke ON M8W 3S2
Telephone: (416) 314-5250
Fax: (416) 314-5255

If a student requires medical treatment, a Treatment Memorandum (form 156C) must be presented to the medical practitioner, who will then submit it to the Workers' Compensation Board. This form is also preprinted and is available from the ministry at the address given above. Boards should routinely provide copies of this form to students and employers. Use of this form will ensure that the claim is not recorded by the Workers' Compensation Board as a claim made by the training organization or the school board.

Reports on injury or industrial disease must be submitted either by mail or by facsimile to the appropriate office of the Workers' Compensation Board, listed below:

  1. For injured students living in Huron, Oxford, Middlesex, and Elgin counties:

    148 Fullarton Street
    London ON N6A 5P3
    Telephone: (519) 663-2331
    Fax: (519) 663-2333


  2. For injured students living in Sudbury:

    30 Cedar Street
    5th Floor
    Sudbury ON P3E 1A4
    Telephone: (705) 675-9301
    Fax: (705) 675-9367


  3. For injured students living in Brant County and the regional municipalities of Haldimand-Norfolk, Halton, Niagara, and Hamilton-Wentworth:

    PO Box 2099, Station LCD1
    120 King Street West
    Hamilton ON L8N 4C5
    Telephone: (905) 523-1800
    Fax: (905) 521-4558


  4. For injured students living in Windsor:

    PO Box 1617, Station A
    235 Eugenie Street West
    Windsor ON N9A 7B7
    Telephone: (519) 966-0660
    Fax: (519) 972-4181


  5. For injured students living in Kenora, Rainy River, Algoma, Manitoulin, and Thunder Bay districts:

    PO Box 7000
    410 Memorial Avenue
    Thunder Bay ON P7C 5S2
    Telephone: (807) 343-1710
    Fax: (807) 343-1702


  6. For injured students living in Dundas, Glengarry, Grenville, Lanark, Leeds, Prescott, Renfrew, Russell, Stormont, Frontenac, Hastings, Lennox, Addington, and Prince Edward counties, and in the Regional Municipality of Ottawa-Carleton:

    360 Albert Street
    Suite 200
    Ottawa ON K1R 7X7
    Telephone: (613) 238-7851
    Fax: (613) 239-3321


  7. For injured students in all other areas of the province:

    Workers' Compensation Board of Ontario
    Simcoe Place
    200 Front Street West
    Toronto ON M5V 3J1
    Telephone: (416) 927-9555
    Fax: (416) 927-5141


At the same time, a copy of the report, together with a copy of the Work Education Agreement, must be forwarded to the ministry, at the following address:

Ministry of Education and Training
Secondary School Co-operative Education Co-ordinator
Mowat Block, 10th Floor
900 Bay Street
Toronto ON M7A IL2
Telephone: (416) 325-2547
Fax: (416) 325-2552

Ministry Data Collection

The Ministry of Education and Training requires the following data from school boards annually:

  1. the total number of hours, during the calendar year, for which the ministry has supplied Workers' Compensation coverage (This total should be compiled from the cumulative totals on students' log sheets. It is important that the hours reported are the actual hours during which a student was at a training station. Hours of placement as a teacher aide are to be excluded.)
  2. the total number of hours, during the calendar year, for which training organizations have supplied Workers' Compensation coverage
  3. the names of the students for whom reports were filed with the Workers' Compensation Board, the dates of injury, and the assigned claim numbers

A request for this information will be sent to school boards in early December. This information should be supplied by January 31 of the following year.

The ministry appreciates your assistance in providing coverage under the Workers' Compensation Act for students in work education programs.

Additional Safety Concerns

Concern has been expressed about students' being placed in areas where they may be exposed to infectious diseases. Such areas include hospitals, laboratories, dental offices, ambulance services, veterinarian offices, day-care centres, and nursing homes. These placements are not consistent in requiring vaccinations against various diseases, including hepatitis B. As well, schools and day-care centres are not consistent in requiring tuberculosis tests.

Boards are advised to investigate the need for vaccinations or tests in each circumstance. If it is determined that a risk exists, vaccination or testing of the student must be a condition of accepting the placement. Further, if there are other safety concerns specific to the placement, the board should decide if any additional preplacement action is required.