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16 Sep 2021

Despite legal crackdowns, unpaid internships are still rife in the art world

Employment Associate, Alexander Martinelli highlights the lack of legislative backing around unpaid internships over the last decade.

Laws may have toughened in the UK and France, but a culture of unpaid (or poorly paid) internships as the gateway into a career in the art world persists.

In recent article in The Art Newspaper, Alexander Martinelli, an employment lawyer at Boodle Hatfield, says that although the UK government promised to tackle unpaid internships in 2018, “other than increased enforcement of minimum wage and other rules, the government is yet to implement legislation to block their use, preferring to focus on awareness campaigns and employer guidance”. Two private members’ bills to limit their length to four weeks failed to pass during the 2019-21 parliamentary session. “It seems unlikely, given the lack of legislative backing for the last decade, that there will be any changes to the law in this area for some time,” Martinelli says.

To read the full article published on 15th September 2021, please click here.