With just a few weeks to go until the end of term, we are beginning to get in to festive mood in the Jobshop.

From the beginning of December we will be joined by MacDougall, our four legged friend who only joins us at this time each year.  MacDougall, suitably dressed for the season, will be appearing in the Jobshop and at other far flung locations around campus over the next month – look out for him, and please stop and say hello if you are passing by!

When planning MacDougall’s workload, it got us thinking about the difference between volunteering and paid work and whether MacDougall would be regarded as a volunteer or a worker?  Despite much discussion, articles and media exposes  there is still much controversy about unpaid internships and ‘voluntary’ positions where there is a requirement to work a certain number of hours, at certain times etc

The Jobshop operates a strict policy, whereby we will only advertise unpaid opportunities of up to 2 weeks (excepting those limited categories of vacancies which are exempt from paying the National Minimum Wage), however this does sometimes cause us some headaches!  From time to time opportunities arise which appear to offer really good experience but they are unpaid and don’t fit in with our guidelines for advertising on myVacancies.  In these cases, we always try to encourage employers to offer paid work but mostly they decline and the vacancy is not advertised – possibly depriving students of opportunities, but we believe that a fair day’s work deserves a fair day’s pay and we hope that you agree.  The good news is, that most Universities operate a similar policy so these employers will be unable to recruit students using Jobshops throughout the UK.

So, in conclusion we know that work experience is valuable and a few days or a couple of weeks unpaid may give you a great insight into your chosen career, but if you are contributing to a business by the work that you are doing, you should be paid at least the National Minimum Wage for your efforts (currently £5.13 at 18yrs, £6.50 per hr at 21 yrs)

If you need any further help or information about unpaid work, please call in to Student Jobshop and we will help if we can.

So back to MacDougall – as his work hours are flexible, and do not amount to more than 2 weeks work in total, we consider him a volunteer  - however we do think he should get paid for his ‘day job’ on 24/25 December as his hours are not optional!

Have a Happy December – look out for MacDougall – there may be prizes…………….
Careers Service

Careers Service

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