Unpaid internships 'breaking the law'

by Christopher Evans

Failing to offer employment contracts and payment to interns could mean a business is breaking employment law, a new poll has found.

Commissioned by Internocracy, the survey showed that only ten per cent of youngsters realise that unpaid internships are illegal, while businesses did not fare much better.

Of the companies questioned, just 12 per cent said they acknowledged that for-profit companies were potentially in breach of legislation if they offer placements without pay.

Chief executive officer of the website Becky Heath commented: "The reality is that if an organisation takes on someone to do work for them, whether or not they are called an 'intern', they should be paid at least national minimum wage."

She said this should be the case if working hours are set and the recruit has been given responsibilities.

This follows recent findings from the Trades Union Congress, which showed that workers in the UK are doing record amounts of unpaid overtime.

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Published on: March 4, 2011

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