Labour pledges to end unpaid internships

Labour will announce today that if it wins the election, it will ban unpaid internships of more than four weeks.

Companies will have to pay at least the minimum wage to anyone staying on after four weeks of unpaid work experience. 

Ed Miliband will say: “In this country, if you want a good job in a highly prized sector, you’re often asked to work for free, often for months on end, sometimes even a year. It’s a system that’s rigged in favour of those who can afford it. Putting careers in highly prized jobs – in the arts, media, fashion, finance and law – out of reach for huge numbers of highly able young people. It’s not fair. It’s not right. And it prevents our companies drawing on all the talents our nation has to offer. So we’ll put a stop to it. We’ll end the scandal of unpaid internships.”

Ben Lyons, Co-Founder of Intern Aware, said: “The current chasm between 20-somethings who can afford to work for months on end for free and those who can’t is bad for social mobility, bad for business and bad for Britain. Businesses are crying out for clarity on internships and the four week limit offers that – as well as vastly increasing the pool of talent they can draw on.”