South Australian Policy Online



News & Opinion

You are here: South Australian Policy Online > News & Opinion  

Exploitation found in unpaid work experience

Thursday, 7 February 2013
Author: University News & Events, The University of Adelaide

University of Adelaide legal experts say the use of unpaid internships and work experience in Australia could in some cases be seen as a form of exploitation, and might result in legal action against employers.

That's one of the key findings of a major report into unpaid work experience - commissioned by the Fair Work Ombudsman - which has today been publicly released.

The report, called Experience or Exploitation? The Nature, Prevalence and Regulation of Unpaid Work Experience, Internships and Trial Periods in Australia, is the first of its kind for the nation. It contains six key recommendations aimed at preventing the exploitation of workers who undertake unpaid work experience where that work is not linked with a formal education or training program.

The report's authors are two of Australia's foremost labour law experts, Professor Andrew Stewart and Professor Rosemary Owens from the University of Adelaide's Law School.

"There is significant evidence of unpaid work experience, internships and trial work that could be seen as undermining the award system and other labour standards," says Professor Stewart.

To view the full article visit:


David Ellis (email)
Media Officer and Editor, Adelaidean
Marketing and Strategic Communications
University of Adelaide
Business: (08) 8303 5414

Professor Andrew Stewart (email)
John Bray Professor of Law
Law School
The Universtiy of Adelaide
Business: (08) 8313 4445