An honest day’s pay for an honest day’s work – it’s only fair

Adrian Shaughnessy has made a very solid point with his thoughts on interns (Private View, DW 1 October).

The creative industries often cite themselves as topping the tree in terms of ethical practice, but I am frequently astonished at the number of consultancies that will underpay, or (as Shaughnessy alleges) not pay, interns.

This could be a situation that interns themselves, in some part, perpetuate, as I have met a number of students who claim they will work for free if it enables them to get into one of their dream jobs.

While this can clearly be put down to youthful naivety, owners and managers should be quick to remind them to ensure that they get paid for their talent. Otherwise, they, and we, are undermining the system that we should all be mindful of. By not asking to be paid for the value of our services, we cheapen our industry, perpetuating free-pitching and undercutting.

At the end of the day, we should all be looking to be paid an honest day’s pay for an honest day’s work.
Rufus Spiller, by e-mail

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