Internship Position Statement
NZ Rise members agree that all interns should be paid a fair market wage. Accordingly, we believe that internships should consist of the following characteristics:
- Interns should be paid at least the minimum wage for all hours of their internship but preferably (at least) the living wage.
- Internships should primarily be about developing the talents of interns with a hope of bringing talent into your companies our industry.
- All interns should be treated the same as employees and with dignity regardless of sex, sexuality, disability, age, race, ethnicity, religion, culture or other arbitrary feature.
- All interns should be supported in their position and given opportunities to grow in their learning.
- Companies should consider bringing diversity to our industry and reduce inequality as a key part of any internship.
We support any company undertaking the above and are happy to work with companies and connect with the wider industry regarding this Policy Position.
Information in Support of this Position
Internships are a messy and undefined area of employment law, to assist employers a comprehensive guide has been produced by NZ Rise NZRise Guidance Paper Internships called “The ‘Down-Under’ on Unpaid Internships” which should be essential reading by any company working with (or thinking about working with) interns. Without being aware of it any company offering an unpaid internship may unintentionally be opening themselves up to legal liability if internships are not structured in the correct way.
NZ Rise exists to support New Zealand technology business to achieve their full potential and speak with one voice when it comes to growing and developing our industry. We believe that in order for New Zealand to be a prosperous and high earning economy our industry needs to achieve maximum growth and be supported at all levels.
There is also no doubt that internally New Zealand lacks the number of people with sufficient technology skills required of high growth successful companies and we need to look for ways to create and nurture future employees. In order to do this we support any company that is able to take on interns and develop their skills in order to meet the challenges of developing talent. We believe that internships offer great monetary value for companies and opportunities for those new to our sector to gain skills and “real world” experience. The hope is that any intern with the right support will be able to transition into being a full time employee.
As businesses we are concerned about the creation of long term unpaid internship positions within both our own and all industries in New Zealand. We believe that interns should be paid at a fair rate to compensate for their time in the hope that they will be able to offer real value to the company and wider economy over time.