Employee reward and benefits news

Many graduates 'working without pay'

Most young people feel the need to work for free during the recession, according to a new survey.

The poll, carried out by the National Council for Work Experience (NCWE), found that in the same pool of 1,500 students and graduates, two-thirds of them felt they were undervalued or exploited by this.

According to the organisation, this is unforgivable as work experience guidelines state that only two weeks is an appropriate period for people to go unpaid for their services, with four weeks being applicable in only "exceptional circumstances".

Heather Collier, the director of the NCWE, said the news was worrying and only compounded issues already present due to the credit crisis.

She added: "These are difficult to times for everyone but it's not a green light for businesses to act unethically. If there is any doubt in an employer's mind regarding potential exploitation, it's simple - pay them!"

The NCWE distributes the Work Experience Quality Mark to businesses around the country and hosts an annual NCWE Awards in recognition of the hard work of others.

Written by Elizabeth Mewes

July 21st 2009
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