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Aussie company under fire for unpaid interns: Where do you stand?

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HC Online | 18 Nov 2014, 09:46 AM Agree 0
When does an internship turn into an employment relationship? That’s the question facing a Melbourne based media company that has come under fire for failing to pay interns.
  • Dr Arthur Shacklock | 18 Nov 2014, 11:42 AM Agree 0
    Apart from the legislation and provisions that are already in place, as described in this article, it seems to me that two things are needed:

    (1) A properly negotiated training wage for internships ("work experience") where the intern is actually doing real work for the organisation; and

    (2) A mandatory time limit on how long such an arrangement can be in place. I would think 3 months would be close to what that should be, or maybe there is an argument for 6 months ?

    After that the organisation either has to cease the internship, give the person a proper job or has to seek formal approval (perhaps from Fair Work Aust) to continue the training wage arrangement for longer (if there is a very good reason).

    I know of several cases where people have been "employed" on no pay, not even any petrol money, as "work experience" and they are doing long hours and producing real work. This is inexcusable.
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