Employers who ask people to work for free could be breaking the law, one expert has revealed.Bosses could be accused of exploitation if they do not pay interns or offer them a job after several months, according to one expert.

Graduate Recruitment Bureau co-founder Dan Hawes reminded employers that it is illegal for them not to pay staff, with the exceptions of charity workers and people holding unpaid positions as part of a degree.

“A lot of companies are seeing that there are loads of graduates in the market place and thinking they can take someone on for nothing, with no promise of a job at the end of it,” he revealed.

Studies by the Institute for Public Policy Research and campaign group Internocracy found recently that employers mistakenly think they are allowed to make people take on work for free if both parties agree to it.

The report also discovered that less well-off people were missing out on experience in sectors including fashion, advertising and the media because they need to earn money.

Internships should lead to a job, Mr Hawes said, adding that firms should at least be paying expenses for any unpaid workers.

Posted by Hayley Edwards