Regulating Unpaid Internships: Why it Matters and How Different Countries are Doing It (April 2016)

Professor Andrew Stewart.

CELRL Labour Law Seminar

‘Regulating Unpaid Internships: Why it Matters and How Different Countries are Doing It’

Speaker: Professor Andrew Stewart (University of Adelaide)

Thursday, 14 April 2016: 1:00 - 2:00 PM

Download lecture slides
The seminar room

About the event

Recent years have seen a significant growth in unpaid ‘internships’ and other forms of ‘work experience’, both in Australia and overseas. These arrangements may reflect an understandable desire by job-seekers to gain a foothold in highly competitive job markets. But they can open up the possibility of exploitation, as businesses and non-profit organisations replace what might previously have been paid entry-level jobs. They may also reduce social mobility, by increasing barriers to access for those from lower socio-economic backgrounds.

This presentation reviewed some of the legal and policy responses around the developed world, including the imposition of legislative controls (as in France); the introduction of laws to clarify whether internships are to be regulated as employment (Canada); enforcement of existing labour laws by public authorities (Australia) or groups of workers themselves (United States); and the development of guidelines for ‘ethical’ forms of work experience (United Kingdom, Australia and internationally).

About the speaker

Professor Andrew Stewart, University of Adelaide

Andrew Stewart is the John Bray Professor of Law at the University of Adelaide and a Legal Consultant to Piper Alderman, as well as the President of the Australian Labour Law Association, an editor of the Australian Journal of Labour Law and co-director of the Adelaide Law School’s Work and Employment Regulation research group. His books include Stewart’s Guide to Employment Law and Creighton & Stewart’s Labour Law. In 2013, with Rosemary Owens, he prepared a report for the Fair Work Ombudsman entitled Experience or Exploitation? The Nature, Prevalence and Regulation of Unpaid Work Experience, Internships and Trial Periods in Australia. The research presented at this seminar is part of a larger project on Work Experience: Labour Law at the Intersection of Work and Education, conducted with Rosemary Owens, Anne Hewitt and Joanna Howe and funded by an ARC Discovery Grant.

The Seminar room