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FT chapel wins proper wage for interns

3 February 2015

Interns who work for the Financial Times will soon be paid the national minimum wage, thanks to a deal negotiated by the NUJ.

The deal was brokered as part of the overall pay settlement of an above-inflation rise for all FT staff from April.

Steve Bird, FoC at the FT, said:

"The chapel is proud to have helped win a proper wage for our interns. By ending the system of offering only a food allowance, FT managers have accepted NUJ arguments about diversity and will be able to recruit from a much broader cross section of society."

The title offers a range of journalism internship opportunities, ranging from one month to three months. Previously it  paid interns a maximum of £50 a week travel and lunch expenses for the first month and then the minimum wage from the fifth week onwards.

Michelle Stanistreet, NUJ general secretary, welcomed the deal and said:

"Unpaid internships exploit dreams and exclude new talent, undermining the diversity of our profession, just when we should be nurturing and supporting the people coming into the industry.

"Employers in the media should be warned; we will continue to take on those who seek to exploit young people and newcomers to the industry. It is vital that a modern, democratic nation has a media that reflects all its citizens and is not a redoubt of the privileged classes. The management of the mainstream media is also the loser if it is not prepared to look for talent beyond a cohort of people who looks like it."

A National Council for the Training of Journalists report, in 2013, revealed that 82 per cent of new entrants to journalism had done an internship, of which 92 per cent were unpaid. This is one of the reasons why the media has become one of the most socially exclusive of professions, as young entrants often have to rely on their parents for cash.

The NUJ's Cashback for Interns campaign has won back wages for members who have been unfairly and illegally exploited by employers. Find out more about the campaign and learn about your rights as an intern

Tags: , financial times, interns, ft chapel, cashback for interns