Co-op Employer Responsibilities

students chatting on campus hallway

The Arts and Science Co-op program values the partnership of our industry partners.  We consider our employer partners as co-educators of our students, playing an important role in co-op students’ experiential education and career development.  We are always available to provide support and guidance throughout the entire process to ensure the work term is successful and all parties benefit.   

Co-operative Education is a formal model of experiential education and the work term itself must meet the criteria set out by Canada’s Co-operative Education & Work Integrated Learning (CEWIL) Association.   

Arts and Science Co-op program is responsible for ensuring that each work term meets the requirements and that our employer partners are aware of the responsibilities associated with being a co-educator of our students.  


Please take a moment to read through the following responsibilities of our co-op employer partners: 

  • Compensation:  Ensure Co-op students are paid at a rate comparable to industry standards and at least minimum wage. 
  • Work Term Duration:  Employ Arts and Science co-op students for a minimum of 4-months (approx. 16 weeks) and between 35-40 hours per week. If a single work term is less than that, approval can be granted on a case-by-case basis.  The minimum that will be considered as an exception is a duration of 12 weeks and a minimum of 420 hours.   
  • Offer/Contract:  When a co-op student is hired, prepare and sign an employment contract (along with the student) indicating the terms and conditions of employment, the period of employment, hours of work per week and rate of pay for the student hired. The student's job description should be attached to the employment contract.  
  • Work Term Contract Adherence:  Employ Arts and Science co-op students for the duration of their contract with your organization.  We require our students to also abide by the contractual commitment they’ve made to your organization.   
  • Work Term Changes or Concerns:  Contact the co-op office if there are any concerns about the work term before any action is taken so that we can discuss the situation together and decide upon next steps.This includes work term extensions, shortening a work term, termination of a work term and/or performance concerns.  Our goal is work term success for both the student and employer and we’re available throughout the term to provide assistance. 
  • Regulations: 
    • Ensure that positions being posted and offered to co-op students are covered under Health & Safety regulations. 
    • Ensure the safety of the student during work-related duties and provide workplace orientation for safety, appropriate work equipment, access to health and emergency services and adequate supervision to avoid any risk of injury or illness. 
    • Undertake all recruitment activity in accordance with provincial and federal standards with attention paid to equity, diversity, inclusion and accommodation (EDIA). 
    • Provide a work environment free from harassment or discrimination, as per the Human Rights Act, including based on the student’s race, citizenship, national or ethnic origin, religion, age, gender identity or expression, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, family status, genetic characteristics or physical ability.  
    • Facilitate reasonable accommodations for students with disabilities. 
    • Include the student in your organization’s existing WSIB or workplace insurance coverage (for employers who are required to carry it). If coverage is not in place or workplace insurance is not a legal requirement, please inform the co-op office. 
  • Job Duties and Orientation/Onboarding:
    • Ensure that the student's work is consistent with what is stated in their job description.   
    • Provide the student with a quality learning opportunity that supports the students’ experiential education and skill development. 
    • Provide a welcoming co-op experience for the student with strong orientation and onboarding process to properly acquaint the student with the following, at minimum: workplace dynamics, policies, health and safety procedures, policies on Equity, Diversity and Inclusion and organizational structure. 
  • Supervision:  To supervise and guide the student during the work term and report any concerns to the Co-op Coordinator. 
  • Performance Appraisals:  To complete a mid-term and final evaluation and discuss the results with the Co-op student while the student is still employed as a co-op student.  
  • Site Visits:  Around the time of the mid-term evaluation, it is requested that each supervisor and student meet for either a virtual or an on-site visit with one of the Co-op Coordinators to discuss the student's progress and how the work term is progressing.