Internship or slave labour?

A manager laughs as her interns slave for free

An executive laughs as interns do her work for free

What is an internship and what is just illegal unpaid labour?

The dictionary says: “A student or a recent graduate undergoing supervised practical training.”

I’m really interested to hear – what % of internships actually include “supervised practical training” and what % are just doing the laborious sh1t that a paid employee doesn’t want to do – learning nothing in the process? The law differs in various countries, but surely anyone in the second position is due to be paid?

The US Department of Labor has just released six legal criteria for defining an internship, whether or not you are in the US, do yours fit this quite practical test?

Six legal criteria for a US based internship:

1. The training, even though it includes actual operation of the facilities of the employer, is similar to what would be given in a vocational school or academic educational instruction;

2. The training is for the benefit of the trainees;

3. The trainees do not displace regular employees, but work under their close observation;

4. The employer that provides the training derives no immediate advantage from the activities of the trainees, and on occasion the employer’s operations may actually be impeded;

5. The trainees are not necessarily entitled to a job at the conclusion of the training period; and

6. The employer and the trainees understand that the trainees are not entitled to wages for the time spent in training.

The Pedestrian wrote an excellent article about internships in Australia.