The Public Relations Consultants Association (PRCA) campaign now has the support of 25 consultancies, including Burson-Marsteller, Edelman, Grayling, Porter Novelli and Red Consultancy. These firms are committed to paying interns at least the national minimum wage.
The CIPR Work Placement Charter, updated in 2010, is also clear in its guidance on unpaid internships:
“National Minimum Wage legislation requires employers to pay minimum wage or above for all work placements, unless they fall within the following exemptions:
- Students who are studying on higher education courses at UK universities or colleges if placed with an employer as part of their course. This exemption may be applied for a maximum period of one year.
- Students doing voluntary work for a registered charity and those doing work-shadowing.”
Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg has supported the campaign in a column in PR Week:
“The fact is, workplaces across Britain desperately need to be opened up, and PR is no exception. Too often it’s who you know – not what you know – that counts.”