Intern doesn't mean free

Opinion

Intern doesn't mean free

Are you a business that uses interns to lower your employment costs in exchange for some on the job training? If so, you ought to note that there's been another successful Tribunal pay claim by an unpaid intern.

The National Union of Journalists, has been campaigning for interns to be paid, and they have reported that a woman working full days for a website company who supervised others and even hired interns herself, was found to be a "worker" (and therefore entitled to the minimum wage and holiday pay).

It appears that the woman was doing much more than work shadowing. The national minimum wage guidance indicates that if there is an obligation to perform tasks, or if the placement could lead to permanent or paid work on completion, the line between unpaid volunteer and worker is likely to have been crossed.

This was first published in July 2011

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