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Work experience - unpaid

Work experience - unpaid


I have had interest from several ACCA students who would like to do work experience at my firm.

I cannot afford to pay them - can we legally use them to offer unpaid work experience?




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24th Nov 2011 23:34

There are very strict rules regarding unpaid work experience. It can only be shadowing I.e. not asking them to carryout tasks employees would and for no longer than 1-2 weeks the exception is when the placement forms a mandatory part of a further education course eg uni students who are required to work at a placement as part of their course.

If you do take on work experience placements and they will be expected to carry out tasks independently and not simply shadow then HMRC and ACAS etc say they must be paid NMW

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25th Nov 2011 09:11

We use them

I've hired a couple of unpaid interns over the last 3 years and I think its a fair transaction if they want experience that they cannot get elsewhere. Normally we have them for 2 or 3 months working part-time around their uni courses after which point their enthusiasm subsides and it becomes less beneficial for either of us.

The important thing is that they must be a "volunteer" rather than an employee  - this is a good link -

However despite the above, we've actually started to pay all of our interns. We had a couple of good experiences but I find that paying even a small amount attracts a better quality of candidate and also gives me some control over whether or not they turn up / work hard etc!


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25th Nov 2011 12:34

good thing to do

Thanks for the link louise12345 .

I have used work experience people in the past and I will carry on using them.

I was attacked by some righteous people on AW for doing this. I am so glad for the link.

It was great to have the right type of work experience people. Their work experience period tended to be 2-3 months. I paid for travel and lunch.

It benefitted both parties.




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to stepurhan
05th Feb 2015 20:11

Hi.  I know this discussion

Hi.  I know this discussion thread is old, but do you still offer unpaid work experience in your company as mentioned in your comment?  I am interested in an Account Assistant/Bookkeeping work experience.  Your response will be much appreciated.  Thanks.

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