The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, has published an Internship Charter. The Charter, and a related guide for employers, seeks to ensure both employers and interns get the best out of their experiences.
The Charter, which was drafted by interns, highlights six key issues: recruitment, induction, supervision, treatment, payment and feedback. Each section advises employers about the way an internship should be structured. For many interns, however, the Charter does not address their concerns. 85% of unpaid interns are not offered a job at the end of their internship and a recent report by the Low Pay Commission criticised "the systematic abuse of interns" that are seen by employers as a source of free labour.
Seen by many as a legal grey area, interns can go unpaid for their work. "Work experience, shadowing, that’s fine. People coming in, preparing files and writing notes, then its work," said Kevin Poulter of the Law Society, "if you’re doing work then you should be paid for work." "The interns themselves need to be very much in control," advises Alex Try of website interns anonymous, "if after two months you’ve got what you want, don’t feel you have to bleed money."