25 Apr, 2013

Unpaid internships

25 Apr, 2013

Today Monster.co.uk pledges publically that it will not support the advertisement of unpaid internships on its site.

The announcement comes just weeks after HM Revenue and Customs launched an inquiry to investigate 100 companies believed to be breaking the law through their use of unpaid interns. It is also in line with the bill that Hazel Blears proposed to make the advertising of unpaid internships illegal.  Sadly this bill was dropped.

Andrew Sumner, Monster’s Managing Director, UK & Ireland, says: “Monster fully supports HMRC’s investigation and Hazel Blears’ proposal to clamp down on the promotion of unpaid internships. A healthy future economy relies on the investment businesses make in young people and we believe it’s important not to take advantage of those desperate to get a foot on the career ladder.

“We provide free advice via our UK site to make employers aware of the legalities surrounding unpaid internships and to ensure job seekers know what to expect from these placements. As a bare minimum, we insist in our terms and conditions that all job posts adhere to UK employment law. We vet and screen adverts placed on our site to advise our customers on compliance. And as an extra precaution Monster actively asks its users to report any suspicious job postings via a ‘report this job’ button. We will happily remove any postings that our users alert us to, if these are found not to comply with the minimum wage law.”

Commenting on the announcement Hazel Blears says:
“I would like to congratulate Monster.co.uk for their fantastic commitment to supporting young people who are looking to get their first foothold in the world of work through internships. Too many employers are exploiting the hopes and dreams of young people by requiring them to undertake unpaid internships. This is unjust and unfair and excludes all those talented young people who cannot afford to live and work for free. It is time we all took action to stop this exploitation and I would urge other companies and organisations to follow Monster’s lead.”

Tanya de Grunwald, founder of graduate careers blog Graduate Fog and campaigner for fairer internships for young people, says:

“Monster’s announcement is fantastic news for young jobseekers – and a welcome boost in the battle for fairer internships. Monster’s move heralds the start of a major culture change in online recruitment. For too long, seeing adverts for unpaid internships posted all over the internet has given both employers and young people the impression that unpaid internships are legal, which they aren’t. Worse still, these ads have constantly undermined the hard work that we campaigners are doing to raise awareness about the facts on unpaid internships. People say to me ‘But unpaid internships can’t be illegal – they’re advertised everywhere.’

“It is admirable that Monster is volunteering to take action to ensure that none of the opportunities advertised on their site exploit young people desperate for experience – or exclude those who can’t afford to work for nothing. Young jobseekers everywhere will be enormously grateful for this significant show of support from such a well-known website.”
Credit: onrec.com