National Minimum Wage/National Living Wage and Volunteers

There is an excellent Standard Note from the Library, SN00697 which will give you the latest information. This note provides an overview of the application of national minimum wage (NMW)/national living wage (NLW) law to persons working in a voluntary capacity.

Only persons defined in law as “workers” are entitled to be paid the NMW/NLW. In order to fall within the definition, a person must have a contractual relationship with his employer. An unpaid volunteer or intern without any contractual obligations will be ineligible for the NMW/NLW. However, contracts may under certain circumstances be implied through conduct.

Read the House of Commons Library Standard Note on ‘National Minimum Wage: volunteers and interns’

Unpaid opportunities on w4mpjobs

We recognise that there is great value in people having access to proper work experience where it is offered and arranged properly and is a mutually beneficial arrangement, but that this should never be used as a way of circumventing national minimum wage/national living wage regulations.

A proportion of posts advertised on w4mpjobs are opportunities to volunteer, either with political parties or with charities. These are understandably unpaid, but we reserve the right not to publish ads which we judge to take advantage of this.

Adverts for roles which are unpaid but which specify set hours and/or a set duration and which list tasks or give a job description more characteristic of a paid post are not voluntary roles, they are unpaid jobs. A truly voluntary role should be flexible.

We also expect adverts to adhere to the spirit and not just the letter of the rules governing voluntary roles and national minimum wage/national living wage. Implying that you are flexible about how many hours/days you expect when you really have a fixed view and will not interview those offering less means that you are offering an unpaid job, not an internship or voluntary work.