Plenty to learn from test for teens (Editor’s notes)

Online test a 'clever way' to teach teens about their rights as employees
By Todd Humber
|Canadian HR Reporter|Last Updated: 03/07/2010

The land of John Diefenbaker, Gordie Howe and Joni Mitchell is about to give another gift to the country — a safer workplace for young Canadians.

Saskatchewan’s announcement that it’s requiring teenagers who are 14 and 15 to pass a test before they can start working is welcome — and intriguing — news. As of March 31, employers hiring these young workers will be required to ask them for proof of age, written consent from a parent or guardian and a copy of their Certificate of Completion, which proves they’ve passed the test.

Young workers can receive the certificate — free of charge — by answering 15 questions about labour standards and 20 about occupational health and safety. The online test clearly isn’t designed to stop anyone from working — teens have three chances to answer each question and, even if they still get it wrong, they’re directed back to the course to review material. It’s just a clever way to force them to pay attention and learn their rights as employees.