Unpaid internships

Are unpaid internships an abuse of the minimum wage laws? A UK publisher thinks so:

Andrew Franklin, MD and Publisher of Profile Books, named Small Publisher of the Year at the Nibbies Trade Awards, has slammed the system of unpaid internships and work experience in the publishing industry, calling it “an abuse of the minimum wage laws.” Franklin made the point almost as an aside at last month’s SYP meeting. “I think it’s despicable to try and pay anybody less than the minimum wage,” Franklin told PN later. “Salaries at the top of publishing are not too bad now, and, when people are paying themselves more than £100,000 a year, it’s awful that they would try to pay people less than £150 a week.” He also attacked the system’s effect on publishing recruitment, saying, “it’s like the debate about tuition fees: it creates a barrier to entry, and people whose parents can’t afford to support them can’t go into publishing. That’s why you have so many people in publishing with names like Rowena and Belinda.” Profile never pays less than the minimum wage.

The article goes on to describe internships at (presumably the British offices of) HarperCollins, Penguin, and Random House. Via Publishers Lunch.