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The Unpaid Work Experience (Prohibition) Bill [HL] 2017–19 is a private member’s bill introduced by Lord Holmes of Richmond (Conservative). It had its first reading on 27 June 2017, and is due to have its second reading on 27 October 2017. The Bill contains two clauses, and would prohibit unpaid work experience lasting for longer than four weeks, by making it compulsory for employers to pay the national minimum wage to individuals undertaking such work experience. This would apply across the United Kingdom.

Key Provisions

The Bill would amend the National Minimum Wage Act 1998, so that the Act applies to individuals “participating in a scheme designed to provide work experience for a continuous or non-continuous period which exceeds four weeks”. Individuals undertaking work experience with the same employer for more than four weeks, who are above compulsory school age but under the age of 26, would receive the rate of the national minimum wage in accordance with their age. The Bill would clarify the definition of ‘employer’ in the Act to include “any organisation which provides an individual with work experience”. The Bill defines ‘work experience’ to mean “observing, replicating, assisting with and carrying out any task with the aim of gaining experience of a particular workplace, organisation, industry or work-related activity”.


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