HR · 26 November 2018

Offering unpaid internships? You could be breaking the law

12% of retailers 12% offer no pay or expenses to interns whatsoever
Employers could be breaking the law if they continue to offer unpaid internships, experts have warned.

The warning came after a survey from the Sutton Trust found that of employers offering internships, almost half said they were unpaid positions.

Just over a quarter offered expenses only internships and 12% no pay or expenses whatsoever.

The Pay As You Go survey found that both graduates and employers are confused about the current law on unpaid internships. Under national minimum wage legislation, interns must be paid if they are expected to work set hours or on set tasks. Up to 50% of employers and 37% of graduates surveyed were not aware most such unpaid internships are likely to be illegal.

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internships

 

Small business owners clash over ethics of unpaid internships

After a recent survey found that UK citizens overwhelmingly backed a ban on unpaid internships, we consulted a panel of employers to see where they stand in the debate.

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Retail had the highest proportion of unpaid internships at 89%, followed by the arts, 86% and the media, 83%.

Only 26% of IT & telecoms and 32% of manufacturing internships were unpaid.


 
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