Stop Unpaid Internships – Let’s Sort Fair Pay!


Have you ever worked as an unpaid intern?

Most businesses behave decently, obey the law and pay their interns. But unfortunately, some are still exploiting young people.

We have seen some shocking stats about companies offering unpaid internships. It’s free labour, so really shouldn’t exist.



  • The highest proportions of unpaid internships were found in retail (89%), the arts (86%) and the media (83%). (BBC)

  • Of the employers who offer internships, almost half report offering unpaid placements (48%). 27% offer expenses only internships and 12% no pay or expenses whatsoever. (Sutton Trust)



Whilst there’s no legal definition of an ‘intern’, if you work set hours and perform set tasks, you would be classed as a ‘worker’ and must therefore be paid at least the minimum wage – whatever the length of your internship.

If an intern can prove they were a ‘worker’ but were paid less than the minimum wage, it may be possible to claim ‘back pay’ via HMRC, even if they had agreed to work unpaid at the time.

If you want to find out more about internships and sorting fair pay, we’ve got more information here

For a first-hand experience, read our contributor Abbi’s story and the lessons she learnt from an unpaid internship


How you can help…

We’re looking for case studies who could speak to our team and explain their experiences. Company names will be kept anonymous, but we want to expose the industries exploiting interns.

If you’ve completed an unpaid internship and want to help stop companies from doing this in the future, please get in touch

You will receive a £20 amazon voucher for helping us out.