Internships need new legal definition, says report

  • Posted

Posted 12/09/2010

A report from the thinktank Demos has called for unpaid internships to be given a new definition in employment law.

The study examined the increasingly important role played by internships in the modern jobs market and described the current legal treatment of such contracts as “short-sighted”, the Guardian reports.

It stated: “The only legal protection employment law offers to interns is related to paid internships.”

Demos explored the fierce competition among new graduates to secure internships and noted a lack of equal opportunities, with some positions being “auctioned off” on websites.

Jen Lexmond, lead author of the report, told the newspaper that “more must be done to support graduates’ transitions into employment or self-employment”.

The study also found that 32 per cent of male graduates would be willing to give up their career to bring up children.

In July, a report from the Institute of Public Policy Research and campaign group Internocracy revealed that 18 per cent of the organisations using interns offer them no pay at all, while 28 per cent pay less than the minimum wage.


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