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.

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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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