The debate over unpaid internships struck a chord last month when news broke that Arcadia — owner of Topshop, Dorothy Perkins and Miss Selfridge— sent hundreds of pounds worth of backdated payments to dozens of its former PR interns.
Corbett goes on to say that PRSA believes it’s ethically improper to employ anyone who adds real value to a public relations agency or department without compensating them for their work – whether that compensation is monetary or in the form of educational credits.
PRSA’s Board of Ethics and Professional Standards (BEPS) developed a set of guidelines, recommendations and best practices
regarding the ethical use of paid and unpaid interns in February 2011, and have been deeply involved in the recent debate.
PRSA is joined by the UK’s Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR) in taking this position. CIPR has produced an Internship and Work Placement Toolkit
, a factsheet
on employment issues with starting an internship and updates for members on internships and work placements.