The trade union Unite has expressed concern on “the growing trend amongst charities of exploiting ambiguity in National Minimum Wage legislation by replacing entry level jobs with unpaid internships”. Having given evidence to the Low Pay Commission, they have also shared a list of large charities they have identified with HM Revenue and Customs, who enforce the NMW. Unite’s news item includes a link to their report (published May 2013) ‘Interns in the voluntary sector – time to end exploitation’ (pdf 240KB).
Charity chief executives body ACEVO has replied “Realistically, the only way that many charities can make these placements widely available is on an unpaid basis. Quite simply, we believe this is a far better option than closing off these opportunities altogether”.