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European Parliament calls for banning unpaid internships


Today, the European Parliament voted in favour of the report on quality traineeships, which calls for legislation to finally #BanUnpaidInternships ⛔

  • The plenary adopted the report calling on the Commission to propose a directive on Quality Traineeships with 404 votes in favour, 78 against and 130 abstentions.
  • The text of the report is available here.

We are one step closer to putting an end to unpaid work. What's next?

All eyes are on the European Commission now to put an ambitious EU directive on the table.

In response to the vote, Mark McNulty, Board Member of the European Youth Forum said:

“This vote is a decisive step that will help more young people from diverse backgrounds enter the labour market. The European Commission can’t betray young people now; it is time for binding legislation that will ban unpaid internships for good. Decent jobs cannot be kept only for those whose parents can afford to pay their bills while they work for free. Young people deserve fair wages for their work and for their rights to be respected in the workplace. The Parliament’s vote validates that the majority of European citizens want to put an end to unpaid work.”

can you afford an unpaid internship?

The European Youth Forum's study on “The Costs of Unpaid Internships” reveals that an unpaid internship costs the average young person in Europe over €1000 a month. As many internships last six months, the total amount that a young person must spend in order to subsidise their employment is over €6000 per internship. The researchers expect the figure to be even higher in 2023, due to the cost of living crisis in Europe.

want to know more?

Unpaid internships are keeping an entire generation of Europeans behind.

Apart from the financial costs, unpaid internships can put a lot of pressure on young people’s mental health, can have lifelong consequences for young people's career opportunities and are worsening inequalities.

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