Sony pays intern £4,600 after minimum wage complaint

Chris Jarvis, who took an unpaid internship at Sony, says he later realised that he qualified as a worker and was entitled to payment.

A former Sony intern says he has been paid £4,600 (approximately $7,200) by the company after arguing that he was entitled to the national minimum wage.

Chris Jarvis, a graduate of Norwich University of the Arts, took an unpaid internship at Killzone: Mercenary developer Guerilla Cambridge in 2012. Claiming that Sony was late in paying his £20-a-day travel expenses, Jarvis researched his rights and then argued he was entitled to be paid as a worker at the company.

Speaking to the BBC, Jarvis said, "I knew that it was an unpaid internship. At the time I was living off my student loan and overdraft but this was what I really wanted to do and the offer was the only bit of feedback I had got from all the applications I had sent off."

"It was to get the experience and to learn the skills," he added, saying that he was working eight-and-a-half-hour days at the company. Jarvis says that, after training, both he and other interns were being supervised by a manager.

Jarvis says Sony paid him the £4,600 before an employment tribunal was held into the case.

Solicitor Jasmine Patel, who worked with Jarvis on his case, said that "if someone is working set hours and is adding value to the company, so that if they were not doing the task someone else would have to be paid to do it, then it is more likely they will be defined as a worker in law and therefore entitled to be paid."

Jarvis now works as a lead graphic designer at a company in Milton Keynes, UK.

Sony declined to comment.

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martingaston

Martin Gaston

Hi! I'm Martin, for some reason or another I have managed to convince the people who run GameSpot that I am actually wor
Killzone: Mercenary

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741 comments
blackothh
blackothh

good way to get noticed..........

Falconoffury
Falconoffury

Times must be really tough in the UK these days if you get a good education and your only offer is an internship.

Caelan Langford
Caelan Langford

Wait... Lol what? 1.6 million preorders is no one hey... Yeah I guess you're right.

ItsFizz
ItsFizz

I also had an unpaid internship after I graduated. After 1 month my superiors noticed that I could actually take on some small projects on my own and gave me a shot at it. During my last month I was working more (I usually stayed 9-10 working hours) than most employees and did almost the same jobs.

Well what can I say because I was appearently good at what I did and didn´t act like an asshole, they offered me permanent employment. Now I´ve been with them for 4 years and just started studying again (Informatics). My Employer pays me most of my living expenses and tuitition fees (I have to go to work 8 Hours a week and had to sign a contract to work for at least another 5 years for them after graduation).

So yeah, I have to say that UNPAID internship was really awesome for me.

Also wow found out about that amazing company he´s workin for...
http://stores.ebay.co.uk/air-raid-clothing
Seriously...he´s a designer? Work on that horrendous webpage!!

PS: I could be wrong but it doesn´t seem like a huge improvement.

Ceclor
Ceclor

Hmm.  I expect that internships at Sony in the UK will no longer be allowed.

PlatinumPaladin
PlatinumPaladin

I'll agree that Sony cocked up not paying the guy his expenses on-time, but frankly the guy's actions give me the impression he's a bit of a dickhead.

If he didn't look in to whether he'd be entitled to be paid before sending out applications then he's a bit of a moron. But if he already knew, and approached companies asking for unpaid experience, only to turn round at the end and say 'hey, I want paying or I'm suing you' then, well like I said..... dickhead.

Gitano
Gitano

oops...looks like he wont be working for Sony...

Sanguis_Malus
Sanguis_Malus

He should have been paid his expenses on time, he likely needed the money being a graduate. Paying the expenses on time would have likely prevented this.

CharlesBurns
CharlesBurns

You're an idiot if you agree to any work for free, especially in any digital creative industry where we get taken advantage of enough as it is.

Dakota Harrison
Dakota Harrison

Not sure what you're going on about, i've still got my launch controller for my PS3.

xtraflossy
xtraflossy

(lol- 666 comments)

Unpaid internship programs are in large part crap.  I don't know of 1 person working one that doesn't add value to a company.

I personally, was in a paid internship and was performing duties, while my sister , who has a college degree in digital journalism and has worked in photography for 10 years is getting an UNpaid internship with National Geographic.

Just because the company is presteigous they think they have the right to simply offer a "brand name" to a resume and that in itself is payment enough is bs.

Shools do the same thing (graduation from a ivory leage or one specialising in your field) yet you pay out your ass to attend.


Good for him

advocacy
advocacy

No fucking way is any employer going to hire this little shit Chris Jarvis.

jigar7
jigar7

Wow! Great going!

Hmm... I wish India had such laws... we work 12 hours most of the year and end up with a 15$/day wage (for freshers)... A BIG FUCKING JOKE! The private sector TVC/Gaming/VFX industries here seem to keep exploiting more and more as each year passes!

Hope someone comes up with a union of some sort... really sad! :(

fsdb
fsdb

Thats why Microsoft is best! They poay you!

toddx77
toddx77

If you take an unpaid internship shouldn't it matter if you are qualified or not because you agreed to be an intern?  

the_martian
the_martian

A lot of people saying he won't get a job now haven't read the end of the article, he already has a job. Sony and companies like them shouldn't be such cheap parasites and pay people for the work that they do. They're not a charity helping starving kids, they're a billion dollar corporation.

tightwad34
tightwad34

I am on the side that says he knew it was an unpaid internship, so he really wasn't entitled to any compensation. Sony probably just said $7,000 pshht, we will gladly give you only 7Gs. Not worth it for Sony to fight over in court.

GH05T-666
GH05T-666

un-paid internship he got paid for!

probably his plan all along

to bad now he wont get a job with them after suing

ndmq
ndmq

Unpaid internship.....another form of slavery.

ewjiml
ewjiml

@ItsFizz 

Yeah, I noticed the people that bitch the most are the people who have no idea how work experience is obtained.   You SIGNED UP for an unpaid internship.  Get the experience and deal with it.  

phbz
phbz

@Gitano I bet he´s giving no fucks to that. 

ewjiml
ewjiml

@CharlesBurns  

I would say you are the idiot sir because without work experience, you get no job.  Good luck with your attitude.

ACWH
ACWH

@CharlesBurns Sometimes working for free as an intern is the only route into the industry.

ewjiml
ewjiml

@advocacy  

At a company?  Suuuuure.  And what company would that be?

sadface1234
sadface1234

@advocacy last line:

"Jarvis now works as a lead graphic designer at a company in Milton Keynes, UK."

advocacy
advocacy

@jigar7The intern earned P318,103.80 (4,600 converted) just by bitching about it and threatening to take Sony to court.  What a guy.

nvngatti
nvngatti

@jigar7 Exactly!! Most jobs that are available after your college degree don't seem to even require one, and they pay so FUCKING low!!

CharlesBurns
CharlesBurns

@fsdb Microsoft pays roughly 10% less than the industry standard. Google pays roughly 20% more...

dahui58
dahui58

@fsdb Microsoft are the most ruthless with their money, how do you think they got so much of it?

masterdrat
masterdrat

@toddx77 If they paid him, you can be sure it's because he was entitled to it.

Spitz6860
Spitz6860

@toddx77 not exactly sure in UK, but in US companies can not make profits off unpaid intern's work. 

jigar7
jigar7

@the_martian I think he should have filed a lawsuit so that no other major company dares to even try such a stunt... he could have got a better compensation.

Wish there were some decent laws here in India... every major VFX corporation here would have gone bankrupt with such laws... feeding off of interns! shameful...

I worked for as an intern for 8 months (no pay-no travel allowance) myself... *sigh*

phbz
phbz

@tightwad34 He knew it was an unpaid internship. But that doesn't means that, after he agreed on that, Sony could make him do anything.

I guess that the story played somewhat like this. Sony failed to pay him the agreed 20£ a day, he went to a lawyer to solve the issue, and probably the lawyer told him - Hey, as a matter of fact, according to the law, they owe you a salary. 

Sony, as most of the companies today, probably uses unpaid interns, just as a working force. Because this in the long run is more profitable. Most of the interns are willing to do anything just for the glance of an opportunity to keep working, and complain about nothing. So it pays off to use them, and from time to time pay the occasional intern that demands to get payed for being a worker and not an intern. That way you also avoid the risk of having the Justice inquiring too much about your work ethics. 

-I think some people here are completely missing the point, and taking Sony´s side just because it´s Sony. 

arqe
arqe

@GH05T-666 he already got another job. love people who comments articles only by looking at title ...

tightwad34
tightwad34

@ndmq Um, no. There is a difference when you actually have a choice.

ItsFizz
ItsFizz

@JanCarl0 @ItsFizz I graduated in media design (print and non-print) in germany. I´m fully aware that this is not the common way things go but quite alot of the people who had unpaid internships actually get employed(if they proved to have the skills/potential).

moesuir
moesuir

@phbz @Gitano after how they cheated him, why would he want to work for that sh..tty company

phbz
phbz

@advocacy @jigar7 Yes imagine that. He had the right to be payed and was paid. The world is lost!

XxAK47xX
XxAK47xX

@dahui58 @fsdb my creating an operating system that is dominating the market for years and doesn't plan on stopping now. what kind of dumb question is that. 

Sanguis_Malus
Sanguis_Malus

Not receiving a travel allowance Is disgusting, that's actually a financial detriment to you. What kind of scumbag decided that your travel will not even be paid.

tightwad34
tightwad34

@phbz I took the side that my gut told me was the right one. I'm not too blind that I will just take a side just because.

PSdual_wielder
PSdual_wielder

@tightwad34 @ndmq  

Sometimes the choice is an illusion.  There are some companies that offers unpaid internships, but if you don't take the job you're not likely to find the experience you need for a while.

JanCarl0
JanCarl0

@XxAK47xX MS-DOS was bought from IBM, it was called Q-DOS back then. Microsoft only added the Window Manager, or DE, called Windows. MS-DOS was the OS until Windows 8. Took them more than 20 years to create their own operative system

blee575
blee575

@tightwad34 @PSdual_wielder When you are desperate and need to work, you are agreeing in doing the work of billion-dollars companies for free in hope they'll hire you afterwards. If you don't you wont be able to eat and eventually end up in the streets, so you are forced to do it. Unpaid labour should be illegal.