Posts tagged ‘national minimum wage’


free archaeology: drawing the line between work experience and work; identifying structural disadvantage and exclusion

Before I begin, I want to make clear that I am not using these case studies as examples of worst practice (though they are not all examples of best practice), or even as examples of consciously exploitative practice. I know people who have worked at all three of these museums (and indeed at the cultural heritage organisations that will appear in a far less flattering light tomorrow), so this is not an attempt to condemn these institutions’ staff.

This is an attempt to draw out the differences between volunteering, voluntary work, work experience and internship in practice; and to highlight the ways that museums’ policies on and programmes of volunteering and voluntary work can reinforce or create disadvantage and exclusion. Hopefully, then, it will be easier to identify widespread and/or persistent exploitation, and structural threats to the cultural heritage profession and its work.

[Now cross-posted on (un)free archaeology.]


free archaeology: ensuring that your workers don’t get minimum wage – not-necessarily-illegal unpaid voluntary work

Intern Aware judge that ‘many internships in the charity sector do not abide by the specifications that state volunteers should be free to choose their working hours and tasks and [should] not report to a boss and receive training like workers’ (and No Pay? No Way! agree). No Pay? No Way! believe that ‘charities use a loophole in the law that enables them to avoid paying interns through calling them “voluntary workers”‘; but I’m not even sure that the loophole exists.

[Now cross-posted on (un)free archaeology.]


free archaeology: simply illegal unpaid internships

When I raised the issue of unpaid internships, an employee of the Department for Work and Pensions observed, ‘it’s almost a two-tier system now.’ (I did raise my eyebrows at almost.) ‘If you can afford to work for free, you can get lots of experience and you can get a great position; if you can’t, you have to swim with the rest of us.’ (I forgot to ask whether they meant swim up rapids, swim in the same foetid pool, or sink.)

[Now cross-posted on (un)free archaeology.]


free archaeology: job insecurity and the need for an archaeological minimum wage

AB Heritage’s blog post on free archaeology triggered a parallel discussion of the causes of (and potential solutions to) a business model that forces much of the workforce to endure unpaid not-working, being-available. Following the section on austerity, complicity and exploitation, and the section on precarious excavation and generational crisis, here I want to look at how and why archaeology is underpaid and insecure. It’s particularly important now, because even the national minimum wage is under threat.

[Now cross-posted on (un)free archaeology.]

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