Unpaid internships are spreading rapidly across New Zealand, undermining labor laws, exploiting young people and excluding everyone but the rich, according to the directors of “Call Me Intern” — the winner of the Best NZ Documentary at the ongoing Doc Edge Film Festival. There are many internships or internship agreements that should (regardless of their identification) attract the same rights and protections as any employment relationship. However, in New Zealand, there is a need to protect all vulnerable workers and to prevent unpaid internships from undermining labour law and the possibility of exploiting young people. Fisher said she did several internships because she hoped it would lead to a job. She said 89 percent of degrees require students to complete mandatory short-term internships in the sector where they are studying. An internship can be either compulsory or optional within a bachelor`s degree or postgraduate cycle. However, this classification leaves a lot of room for abuse, as trainees do not enjoy workers` rights. Co-director Leo David Hyde (who made headlines after living in a tent during an internship at the United Nations in Geneva) said: “A volunteer could work a few hours a week at a soup kitchen – but if you make considerable teams for a company or organisation for months, you are clearly a worker and your employer is acting illegally. It is shameful that some employers abuse the concept of volunteering to exploit young people and benefit from an unpaid internship. Most people strive to do an internship during a period of study, although it can be done during the semester and, in some cases, at the end of their studies.
Most internships are launched each year between March and September. Check CareerHub. While internships can open doors and be an important way to succeed, interns also have to pay for rent and food. If you are an intern and you are concerned that you have been misclassified and that you are indeed a worker who is entitled to a salary, seek legal advice. If you`re thinking about a paid internship, you may be can use a fixed-term contract.