Unite the union has teamed up with Intern Aware to call for an end to unpaid internships and the re-introduction of paid entry level jobs in the voluntary sector.
What's wrong with unpaid internships?
1. They replace paid entry level jobs: Unpaid internships are increasingly widespread in the not for profit sector and are increasingly being used to replace entry level jobs in the sector.
2. They are often breaking minimum wage legislation: The legal uncertainty about volunteering in National Minimum Wage regulations is being used to avoid paying interns in the sector.
3. They are elitist: By not paying interns, organisations are excluding many high quality applicants, undermining ethical aims of the sector and equal opportunity in the economy as a whole.
Unite has complained to Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs (HMRC), that enforces the National Minimum Wage, about exploitation of unpaid internships in the sector. We believe that the impact of unpaid internships on social mobility and regional equality is extremely worrying.
Unite is not alone in these worries. The Low Pay Commission has recognised the problems caused by unpaid internships and repeatedly recommended that the government take action. This has not happened.
We need your help to stop employers who are failing to pay interns the wages that they are legally entitled to. Please click here to report organisations that are recruiting unpaid interns and increase the pressure on the government to take action