I’m delighted to support Hazel Blears’ ten minute rule bill to prohibit the advertising of long-term unpaid internships. The bill would also regulate conditions of employment for paid internships. Many internships are advertised as being unpaid and are on a long term basis. This contravenes the aims of National Minimum Wage (NMW) legislation. All too often unpaid internships result in opportunities only being accessible to a privileged few, harming social mobility and preventing the vast majority of – often young – people from having the chance to reach their full potential.
As a result of the NMW, the measure that Hazel is proposing does not require new legislation but it is about tightening up a loophole in existing employment law. I’m pleased that the bill is supported by over 40 MPs from all parties, which should give momentum to its aims and help persuade the government to act on closing this loophole.
I believe that interns should be paid the minimum wage. It is only right and fair everyone is paid a fair day’s wage for a fair day’s work. I hope that this bill can go some way to ensuring that internships are properly paid and regulated.