I am currently working as an intern in a small company.

When applying for the job, I and the employer agreed that I would be payed a small amount each month - "150-200 euros" - so that I can cover my expenses. I would get the rest of my pay at the end of the internship (in my country internships work this way).

Now the employer refuses to pay me even that small amount with the excuse that he has difficulties with money. Since I have to cover my expenses somehow, I asked him to work for 5 hours instead of 8 and to stop coming to work on saturdays, to be able to find a second job.

I don't like to be abused on that level - that's why I asked for these conditions. I am not pretty sure if I am wrong or right and if I am, I would like to know how can I avoid bad recommendations from my employer

To make matters clear. In my country the intern gets paid 80% of the minimum salary, which is around 480 eu, half from the employer (each month) and the other half from government (at the end of the internship). So from the 240 I should be getting each month I get 0.

Added 22/5/2015

@Brandin Thank you for your answer.

•If i work 5 instead of 8 hours i could find a part time to cover my expenses. and

•i have to come to work so that i can be true to my word (because i knew that i would be getting less money but not nothing at all)

•also i have to work because half of my payment is going to be given to my by the govt at the end of the internship

  • 1
    How does working for 5 hours instead of 8 help you cover your expenses? If the gig agreed to pay X euros per month, but now they're not able to pay it, why should you come in at all?
    – Brandin
    May 22, 2015 at 7:14
  • 3
    If you can switch your internship to another company, do so ASAP. You are pulling on a dead horse.
    – user8036
    May 22, 2015 at 8:06
  • How did you agree you'd be paid? Verbally?
    – hd.
    May 22, 2015 at 14:51
  • You should contact the govermental organization that would have paid part of your salary and ask them how to proceed.
    – jmoreno
    May 24, 2015 at 1:12
  • Do you have some type of contract or written agreement?
    – llrs
    May 25, 2015 at 12:57

1 Answer 1


What do you think good people invented laws for? Depending on your country, there might be institutions which have been founded to solve problems like yours. They are called "labor union" or "trade union" (Gewerkschaft in german) and you should consider contacting them.

Keep in mind, that the power of those institutions depends on which country you live. In Austria, if you work for a company, you are automatically member of at least one labor union and they usually have more power than in Germany, for example. In countries like China, however, those organizations have almost no power at all, for what I know.

I personally know people who worked at internships and were refused to pay - in most cases it was enough that they demanded the payment by threatening to go to labor union if they wont get what the contract said. Otherwise, labor union takes the case to court and if the contract says that you will get paid, then you will get paid, even if employer has no money (though I have no idea, where they take the money in that case).

Concerning "bad recommendations", here in Austria at least, there are laws which prohibit employers from giving you bad recommendations. Which is also funny, because what is the purpose of employment references, when law does not allow you to write down negative things on that reference?

  • For a student, I'd think that reporting to the school would be better than going directly to a union.
    – Pacerier
    May 26, 2015 at 10:11

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .