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Unpaid work

Has anyone a view on the implications of the obligation to pay people who had traditionally been taken on as work placement/work trial and or an internship?  I have seen on the Workplace Relations site that under the National Minimum Wage Act that all employees engaged under a contract of employment have a right to receive the minimum wage.  The WRC goes on to define a contract of employment as any contract whereby an individual agrees with another person, to do or to perform personally, any work or serice for that person or a third person.

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  • Hi Judith,

    Quite simply we pay a pre-agreed amount based on meeting minimum wage requirements, expenses incurred, length of opportunity and add a little extra as a thank you.

    It doesn't sit well with our corporate business to have people 'working' for 'free experience'.

    kind regards,
    Laura
  • Hi Judith
    If they are expected to carry out any actual work (E.g. not just 'shadowing' for a couple of weeks as you would expect a 15 year on a work experience period) then they are entitled to receive the minimum wage applicable for their age for all hours (even if some of them are 'shadowing' or in training).

    Long gone are the days (thank goodness) when a Company could expect people to carry out work for them and by calling it an 'internship' pay them nothing or next to nothing.
    Sue
  • In reply to Susan May:

    Long gone are the days (thank goodness) when a Company could expect people to carry out work for them and by calling it an 'internship' pay them nothing or next to nothing.


    If only...

    www.theguardian.com/.../internship-placement-chuka-umunna-economy-young-people

    I know this question was in our "Ireland" section. I'd love to believe that our Irish cousins have a more rigorous culture in these matters, but despite the law being very much the same on this side of the water, unpaid internships remain a thing, in defiance of not only law, but ethics and diversity, too.