New law to ban unpaid internships?

The State Opening of Parliament offers all members of Parliament an opportunity to submit their own ideas for new legislation, known as Private Members Bills. Today (21st June 2017) Chris submitted a private members bill that aims to limit any unpaid internships or work experience to four weeks.  It will have its first reading in the House of Lords on Tuesday 27th June.

Chris strongly believes that if we are to secure the best possible future for our young people and access all the talent we must put an end to this practice of patronage. Unpaid internships grant access to professional networks and valuable work experience only those wealthy or lucky enough to be able to work for free.

The Sutton Trust has calculated the cost of working in an unpaid internship in London to be £1,000 per month. Estimates suggest there are up to 70,000 internships across the UK every year with the number up 50% since 2010.

Chris’s Private Members Bill aims to stop this widespread practice that entrenches privilege rather than identifying and enabling talent. The bill, should it become law, would provide much needed clarity to employers and strengthen the position of interns who are often too afraid to complain.

The fourth industrial revolution has seen advances in technology that are revolutionizing the world of work, yet one of the most striking aspects of the current employment landscape are work practices that belong in the past. Unpaid internships are one example; a divisive, anti-competitive product of the past that this bill hopes to consign to the past.

There have been attempts in the past to introduce a similar bill but Chris hopes that with increasing awareness of the issues and powerful campaigns by the Social Mobility Commission that the time might now be right for change in the law.

 

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An end to unpaid internships?

Chris welcomes reports that the government are looking at ways to end the unfair system of unpaid internships. Internships are often offered to recent graduates as a way of gaining valuable work experience but clearly exclude those unable to work for free. Alec Shelbrooke MP has campaigned on this issue and is set to introduce his second Private Members Bill aiming to ban the practice  by introducing an explicit four week limit to unpaid work experience.  Chris introduced the same Private Members Bill to the House of Lords in June 2016.

The Economist, Unpaid Internships are coming under fire in Britain.

The Mail Online, Theresa May is set to ban internships in latest Cameron snub.