9 Of The Worst Unpaid Internships In Britain
Intern culture is getting out of control. Time to claim the money back.
Most long-term unpaid internships are illegal in the UK.
Internships have no legal status but anyone doing a job that involves actual work and turning up for set hours is likely to be considered to be a worker under UK law.
And under UK law, all workers must receive the minimum wage – £6.31 an hour if you're over 21.
Companies can't simply state that a full-time job is unpaid. Those that do are often breaking the law.
Until now companies have largely escaped prosecution. But the government's starting to get serious.
Which is about time. Because here's 9 of the worst examples of the UK's unpaid intern culture.
1. Harrods hiring marketing assistants for nothing.
2. Reading F.C. wanting a full-time video analyst for a year. For nowt.
3. Alexander McQueen needing students to make knitwear in return for a £3 lunch.
4. Sony using unpaid interns to work on computer game artwork for nothing.
5. Tony Blair's office seeking unpaid interns to help with administrative tasks.
6. Miss Selfridge hiring unpaid interns to sit in a windowless room and send clothes to journalists.
7. Dozens of MPs using unpaid interns to run their offices.
8. Private jet company Victor hiring an unpaid intern with this frankly crazy list of tasks.
9. This publisher hiring unpaid interns to... run the whole business by the looks of things?
The tide's turning. But more unpaid interns need to put up a fight and claim back unpaid wages.
Intern Aware help interns claim back pay from employers. They argue that requiring people to take unpaid jobs to get into competitive careers means those professions will only be accessible to people with wealthy parents or (in many cases) a base in London.
Leading jobs sites have recently pledged to block adverts for unpaid interships that appear to break the law, while HM Revenue & Customs has a hotline 0800 917 2368 for people who feel they are owed the minimum wage for their past work.