There’s nothing more frustrating than leaving of uni after years of hard work, finding the job of your dreams, then realising that it’s unpaid. Working for free has become commonplace in many industries under the guise of ‘internships’, offering you great experience over actual money for your efforts.
But that could all be about to come to and end, as a private members’ bill is set to get its second reading in the House of Lords this week, proposing a ban on unpaid work experience or internships lasting more than four weeks.
As expected, the public are here for it too, as a survey by independent body Social Mobility Commission has revealed. Out of nearly 5,000 people, 72 per cent said they’d back a change in the law, with 42 per cent “strongly supporting” a ban.
It’s not just changes to payment people want to see, though — 80 per cent also want companies to be forced to publicly advertise such work experience positions, rather than them being arranged through personal connections.
The potential ban will be music to the ears of many young people, who are having to work for free or take additional jobs just to get their first foot in the door of their chosen career path. In addition, those who can’t afford to work for nothing are being excluded from valuable opportunities, purely because they can’t cover the cost of a train ticket or daily expenses. A ban would level the playing field for all, creating fairer, more equal opportunities that actually reward employees for their valuable input.
And one tweeter has captured the whole debate in a nutshell:
Things that aren’t modes of payment: Exposure, opportunity, experience, free coffee.
Things that are modes of payment: Money.#PayInterns
— Nathalie Gordon (@awlilnatty) 23 October 2017