Intern wins back pay

INTERN Keri Hudson, 21, was successful at a Central London employment tribunal today (Thursday 12 May) in proving she had a right to be paid for work carried out over several weeks at the My Village Website in late 2010. This is the first cash victory for the London Freelance Branch Cashback for Interns campaign. Fi O'Cleirigh writes:

Keri Hudson won £1024.98 for five weeks' work for MyVillage website earlier this year, against defendants TPG Web Publishing Limited, who did not attend the hearing. The figure included £111.76 holiday pay on a pro rata basis.

Keri Hudson outside the Tribunal
Keri Hudson outside the Tribunal

Ms Hudson, who had no written contract, worked full-time and both coordinated and trained a team of other interns.

In January the website was taken over by a new company, which promised she would receive payment if she stayed on. She resigned five weeks later, on 7 February, when it became clear that she would not be paid. She was headhunted by another firm the same evening and began paid employment the following week.

Speaking immediately after the hearing, she said: "This shows that interns are more valuable than employers such as TPG give them credit for."

Ms Hudson encouraged other unpaid journalist interns to get in touch with the union. "If they feel they have added value to a company and not received value in return, then that's not fair. If they don't feel they have been treated fairly, then they shouldn't be scared to get in contact."

Any intern wanting NUJ assistance in claiming back the National Minimum Wage should contact: interns@londonfreelance.org

Keri Hudson will be speaking to LFB about her internship experience at the London Freelance Branch meeting on Monday 13 June.

Last modified: 12 May 2011 - © 2011 contributors
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