Employment law ‘should be changed for internships’

  • Posted

Posted 27/06/2010

The government should bring in a change to employment law surrounding internships and work experience, it has been claimed.

Research by the Chartered Institute for Personnel and Development (CIPD) has discovered that 37 per cent of people currently undertaking internships are not being paid at all, which it argues is exploiting young people.

It has called for employers to be forced to pay interns at least £2.50 an hour, bringing them in line with the wages received by apprentices.

The organisation said this would allow young people from poorer backgrounds to access the benefits of internships, as they are currently being put off by the prospect of working for long periods without pay.

CIPD spokesperson Tom Richmond said: “The continued existence of a major loophole in the national minimum wage legislation has created a lot of confusion and concern.”

Indeed, although employment law states that interns must be paid if they work set hours, companies are able to get around this by classing them as volunteers. They then are not obliged to pay them.

In March 2010, the Trades Union Congress criticised firms for taking advantage of graduates, arguing that they are being seen as a source for free labour by companies who have no intention of offering permanent positions at the end of the internship.


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