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Interns need employment law protection

Interns need employment law protection

Changes need to be made in employment law to recognise university graduates carrying out unpaid internships, according to thinktank Demos.

A study carried out by the organisation examined the increasingly prevalent practice of firms offering internships in the modern job market and described the current legal treatment of these often brief contracts as "short-sighted", the Guardian reports.

In current employment law, legal protection is limited to paid internships, while Demos discovered that some internship positions were being "auctioned off" as competition for these highly sought-after vacancies remains as fierce as ever.

In July, a report carried out by the Institute of Public Policy Research and campaign group Internocracy revealed that 18 per cent of organisations hiring interns offered no pay whatsoever, while 28 per cent offered less than minimum wage.

Jen Lexmond, lead author of the Demos report, told the Guardian that "more must be done to support graduates' transitions into employment or self-employment".

Meanwhile, the study also found that 32 per cent of male university graduates would be willing to give up their career to bring up children.