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Wednesday, 2 December 2009

Expenses only jobs are 'officially illegal'

There have been plenty of articles recently about the pluses and minuses of unpaid internships, which are usually 'with expenses'. The recent Employment Tribunal sitting in Reading on November 20th has ruled that workers engaged on an expenses-only basis are entitled to payment at least in line with the national minimum wage. More here.

About time too! 

Employers have recently become accustomed to exploiting students and graduates who are increasingly desperate to bolster their CV with whatever experience they can get and agree to work for no pay. This discriminates against those who cannot afford to work without any income and does nothing to help students reduce their student debt.
We stopped allowing unpaid/expenses-only jobs on because we did not want to encourage this exploitation. It seems as though a (small) section of the business population associate the words 'student' and 'graduate' with 'free labour.'

After all, why should a talented computer science student do some web development or web design free of charge? Bargain rates: yes; for free: no. Meaningful student jobs are not always easy to find so let's not further demotivate students who are doing their best to forge a career in difficult economic times.  

We will continue to highlight the need for students and graduates to be paid for what they do. Isn't it enough to be saving £££ by using students anyway? They are a talented bunch and deserve recognition.

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