Exploitation or Experience
Many UK Fashion Internships companies exploit unpaid interns. They often work up to 12 hours a day, for months, and have little chance of getting a job. Fashion Internships interns claim they are often more productive than paid staff, and that some companies heavily rely on free labor.
Rufus Cassidy*, 25, took up an internship at Alexander McQueen Fashion Internships House a few months after receiving a postgraduate degree.
After eight months of unpaid labor, picture perfect photography he decided to quit in May 2013. He says, “I quit because it was clear there was virtually no possibility of getting a position there.” They would have loved me to stay, but I couldn’t afford not to work for them.” I had done five internships in Fashion Internships that were unpaid elsewhere.
Brennan states that the most important aspect of the minimum wage is the actual arrangement, and not whether an individual Fashion Tap is called an intern. “If someone is employed on a regular basis to sew sequins onto ball gowns or similar work that is core to a clothing manufacturer’s operation, then they may be considered employees or workers and would be entitled the minimum wage.”
Alexander McQueen interns are required to sign an agreement that includes an opt out from the 48 hour working week regulations. This agreement provides that interns can withdraw their opt-out at any time by giving notice for three months. The agreement also states that interns must follow all reasonable instructions and work as long as necessary to complete the tasks they are assigned to.
David McBride, an employment attorney with Thompsons Solicitors, says that the long hours you describe violate working time lego photography regulations that require at least 11 hours of rest in any 24-hour period, and that all adult workers must take a minimum of 24 hours off each day.
Alexander McQueen’s lawyers stated to Work that the Fashion Internships industry is not unique in that it requires its workers to work long hours on occasion. They said that prospective interns were fully informed about the nature and expectations of the work and that they could not be guaranteed a job after the internship. Participants gained valuable experience and improved their career prospects.
The interns were also involved in the culture, working practices, and highly skilled activities of their company. They were closely supervised, and provided work that was “not just suitable for them but also which will give them the best learning opportunities.”