Advertising unpaid opportunities
CityCareers will only advertise opportunities, including internships and work experience schemes, which comply with the NMW legislation.
If an opportunity is based outside of the UK, it is must comply with the NMW legislation of the country where it is offered.
Unpaid opportunities will be advertised if one of the specific exemptions from the NMW framework applies. The most relevant exemptions in the careers context are:
Students doing work-shadowing need not be paid the national minimum wage
because they are only observing work and do not undertake any work themselves. They do not have any contractual arrangement and are
not classed as workers. They can come and go as they please, do not have
set work obligations or have set hours. In order for these
opportunities to be advertised on our website, the organisation must
cover reasonable travel and lunch expenses to ensure that students are not left out of pocket and the opportunity cannot be longer
than 1 or 2 weeks (irrespective of whether it is full-time or part-time). Typically, "insight" weeks or programmes fall within this category.
Voluntary work with charities or similar bodies
Registered charities, voluntary organisations, associated fund-raising bodies or statutory bodies (such as schools and hospitals) have a special exemption in the NMW legislation, called the "Voluntary Worker exemption". This exemption allows such organisations to engage “workers” that would normally be entitled to the NMW.
Voluntary workers at such organisations are exempt from the NMW as long as they receive no monetary payments and their compensation is limited to specified expenses and benefits. Please note that a number of circumstances may invalidate such exemption.
We can only advertise such opportunities if they are no longer than 3 months (irrespective of whether they are full-time or part-time) and the employer covers reasonable lunch and travel expenses to ensure that students are not left out of pocket.
If you are submitting a volunteering opportunity, please use City's volunteering portal.
Unpaid opportunities submitted by other organisations will be considered on a case-by-case basis. However, vast majority of unpaid opportunities submitted by commercial organisations will not be approved as they are likely to be illegal.
Individual's entitlement to the NMW depends on whether they are a "worker". Please see the resources listed below for information on how this is determined. In a nutshell, it depends on whether the individual has a contract of employment or whether there is any other explicit or implicit arrangement which could be interpreted as such. If the individual is a "worker", they must be paid at least the NMW, unless one of the exemptions applies.
All commercial organisations wishing to engage unpaid staff should seek advice from the professional legal counsel to ensure they comply with all relevant legislation. The terms "internship" or "work experience" do not have a defined legal meaning and what matters is the nature of the relationship between the individual and the organisation they are working at.
Ultimately, it is the responsibility of each employer to ensure they comply with relevant legislation.