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Media UK's policy on advertising un-paid jobs

Does Media UK accept advertisements for unpaid jobs? Normally the answer's... no, because they're illegal.

Unpaid jobs, sometimes called "work experience" or "internships", are normally illegal.

Every worker, with very limited exceptions, is legally entitled to be paid at least the National Minimum Wage. It's a criminal offence not to pay it.

These are the current Minimum Wage rates, and these are the people who should be paid it.

Media UK can not accept advertising that is against the Minimum Wage Act, and therefore against the law.

We don't accept student 'work experience'
The National Minimum Wage does not need to be paid if:
- the work experience is part of a course for a full-time student
- it is organised by the relevant academic institution
- it is a required part of that course
Given the requirements above, student work experience is not expected to be advertised on Media UK, and Media UK can't accept it.

Expenses-only jobs are illegal
The National Minimum Wage still applies, and an employment tribunal has already ruled that the minimum wage applies. Media UK cannot accept jobs that only pay expenses, including internships.

Charities and not-for-profit organisations
- Charities are normally exempt from the National Minimum Wage. You're therefore free to use Media UK if you're advertising for voluntary roles, for example, a Hospital Radio station that is a registered charity.
- Not-for-profit organisations, like community radio stations, may be exempt from the legal requirements of the National Minimum Wage under certain circumstances. Because of this, Media UK does accept all advertising for community radio stations. By posting an unpaid job for a community station, you accept all responsbility; eligible "not-for-profit organisations" are only those required to be so by law.

An RSL is not legally required to be not-for-profit
Media UK's definition of a "community radio station", as above, is a licenced service by Ofcom as a Community Radio Station. RSLs are not required to operate at no profit, and there is no provision made in the Minimum Wage Act for them. Media UK cannot accept advertising for unpaid work in a RSL.

Community Interest Companies
Some internet-only radio stations that lack an Ofcom licence are operated by a Community Interest Company (CIC). These are not exempt from paying the Minimum Wage. The government has reaffirmed, after consultation, that it does not intend to make an exclusion around CICs for the Minimum Wage. 2.16 (pdf). Accordingly, Media UK cannot accept advertising for unpaid positions for a CIC.

For more information
- Read guidelines from Skillset (pdf)
- Read the Government's advice
- For more information and discussion, start at the FAQ at The Watercooler


Recommendations: 0
John English posted


We’re running a programme where we give UK filmmakers to opportunity to come to Barcelona where we train them in all aspects of the documentary making process, and give them the chance to co-direct a half our doc with us. The position is unpaid, which is entirely legal here in Spain, and we feel an incredibly valuable experience for those involved.

As we’re not breaking any laws and would be happy to state the conditions of the programme clearly in the add. Would you allow us to post the add.

I don’t want to do anything without checking so I thought it better to write a quick mail.

Thanks very much for your time. I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Best wishes


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