A Reminder About Unpaid 'Interns'22 April 2014
The ACA is concerned to note that some architectural practices are advertising unpaid ‘internship’ positions that appear to be unlawful.
Architectural practices should be aware that internship arrangements that are not part of a recognised educational program are in most cases unlawful. The ACA reminds member practices that under the Fair Work Act 2009 all employees must be paid for their work.
The Architects Award sets out minimum wages for students of architecture, graduates of architecture and registered architects and these minimums should be observed to at all times. Practices that flout these regulations may expose themselves to investigation and prosecution by the Fair Work Commission and risk hefty fines – currently $51,000 for corporations per offence and $10,200 for individuals (i.e. Directors)
For those interested in further information, the ACA has obtained legal opinion in relation to unpaid internships, which is available to members.
Practices can also refer to the overview of questions and concerns around unpaid internships in Australian architecture and internationally.
The Fair Work Ombudsman Internships, Vocational Placements and Unpaid Work Fact Sheet is also an important reference.
Links in this article were updated on August 20, 2016.