Websites which are set up by graduates are springing up to offer unpaid interns to talk about their feeling that internships are more of nothing more than exploitation. Channel 4 News Culture Editor Matthew Cain reports that internships exist in all areas of a workplace, and where a graduate has a passion to do a job, then this passion can always be exploited.
The campaign aims to provide awareness among employers that there is an obligation to pay minimum wage. In April the Low Pay Commission criticised Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customers (HRMC) for not enforcing minimum wage laws on internships.
Anybody who qualifies as a work, by law should be paid at least $6.08 an hour if aged 21. The only exemption for interns to not be paid a wage is if they are part of a charity or voluntary organisation, otherwise graduates/students are unable to waiver their rights to these wages and are able to claim back unpaid work up to five years after. However many graduates take internships to gain full time employment at the same company in the future, with so many graduate jobs only offering schemes to people who have done internships with them or graduates who have previous experience.
Back in May the National Union of Journalists helped Keri Hudson, a former inter. Win back payment from a company she had interned for even though she had agreed to work without pay at the time, with the “cashback for interns” looking to win many more cases.
Campaigner Tanya de Grunwald at Graduate Fog commented that “There is a myth that unpaid work is somehow the solution to youth unemployment but we see it as part of the problem. Internships exploit those who do them and exclude those who can’t afford to. We are clear who the villains are here. It’s not the interns or their parents. The villains are the companies who take something for nothing without giving anything back.”
Source: Pareto Law