PICTURES

Youths spread message that interns have rights too

Lawyer Nicholas Lauw, 32, stops by Raffles Place Square to pledge support for interns on his way back to work. Singapore's first "Thank Your Intern Day" took place at Raffles Place on Thursday with youth volunteers from nEbO - the junior members
Lawyer Nicholas Lauw, 32, stops by Raffles Place Square to pledge support for interns on his way back to work. Singapore's first "Thank Your Intern Day" took place at Raffles Place on Thursday with youth volunteers from nEbO - the junior membership arm of the NTUC - hitting the streets, to educate bosses and interns on intern rights. -- ST PHOTO: ALPHONSUS CHERN
Singapore's first "Thank Your Intern Day" took place at Raffles Place on Thursday with youth volunteers from nEbO - the junior membership arm of the NTUC - hitting the streets, to educate bosses and interns on intern rights. -- ST PHOTO: ALPHONS
Singapore's first "Thank Your Intern Day" took place at Raffles Place on Thursday with youth volunteers from nEbO - the junior membership arm of the NTUC - hitting the streets, to educate bosses and interns on intern rights. -- ST PHOTO: ALPHONSUS CHERN
Singapore's first "Thank Your Intern Day" took place at Raffles Place on Thursday with youth volunteers from nEbO - the junior membership arm of the NTUC - hitting the streets, to educate bosses and interns on intern rights. -- ST PHOTO: ALPHONS
Singapore's first "Thank Your Intern Day" took place at Raffles Place on Thursday with youth volunteers from nEbO - the junior membership arm of the NTUC - hitting the streets, to educate bosses and interns on intern rights. -- ST PHOTO: ALPHONSUS CHERN

Singapore's first "Thank Your Intern Day" took place at Raffles Place on Thursday with youth volunteers from nEbO - the junior membership arm of the NTUC - hitting the streets, to educate bosses and interns on intern rights.

The message they wanted to send out? That interns are covered by the Manpower Ministry's Employment Act and organisations should not treat them unfairly by deducting their allowances if they go on sick leave, among other things.

Some bosses wrote thank-you notes for their interns which volunteers will personally deliver to each office on Friday and next Monday. Office workers and their interns could also take pictures with cardboard cut-outs that said "I love my boss!" or "I have the best intern!". The pictures were uploaded on the project's Facebook page.

The campaign was founded by Ms Kayleen Ang, Mr Ryan Teo and Mr Brendan Lim - all aged 20 - who were spurred into action by a viral video released in May of an employer striking and verbally abusing an intern. The three met when they were interning at nEbO earlier this year.

"Interns don't know their rights," said Ms Ang, whose friend complained about working seven days a week during her internship. The campaign started online on Sept 18 with online videos posted each week to share desirable intern behaviour and information on workplace rights, such as working hours and overtime pay.

nEbO hopes to mark Oct 10 as Thank Your Intern Day in the years to come.

"Just as there's Mother's Day, we also want to celebrate Intern Day," said Ms Ang. "It doesn't have to be a day off, maybe bosses can even just take their interns out for lunch."