It has been reported this month that three organisations have reached settlement with unpaid interns after they raised claims for payment of the national minimum wage. These cases follow on from a national campaign by the “Justice for Interns Group” which campaigns for interns’ employment rights.
Although these cases settled before a decision could be reached on the matters by the Employment Tribunal, the cases illustrate that employers must take care when offering unpaid internships/work experience. The National Minimum Wage Act 1998 states that all “workers” are entitled to receive the minimum wage. Those with set responsibilities who are undertaking more than a just a work-shadowing scheme may be regarded as workers under the legislation and therefore be entitled to payment.