£1.48. £1.48 per hour. Just one pound and forty-eight pence per 60 minutes of work.
That, according to multiple reports, is the hourly compensation that ITV’s Love Island stars receive for their time on the show.
Said reports state that contestants get £250 a week – to cover rent, bills and other essential costs.
If that is broken down by the hours they’re on the show – as contestants they’re effectively performing all the time – it’s 168 hours a week.
A Metro newspaper source said: “If you break it down to how many hours they’re filming every day it’s absolutely nothing.”
If this was pay for a full-time job – and not compensation for their time on the show – it would also contravene minimum wage laws.
There would also be a lot of questions about potential burnout – with stars being on-the-clock, and on camera, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Care for contestants
In many ways, the relationship between the show’s producers and stars is not too dissimilar from that of an employer and employee.
In both TV and employment, there is increased focus on the care that is available to individuals that put themselves on the frontline – whether that be in the office or in front of cameras.
ITV has found itself at the centre of these difficult discussions after one contestant, Mike Thalassitis, killed himself after appearing on the show.
Now, ITV offer aftercare for contestants – including a psychological debrief and lessons on how to use social media.
That show also hired a chief medical officer and a physician to interpedently review medical processes.
ITV has also been keen to share the work it does on mental health issues.
With a rising number of reports regarding workplace-sparked burnout and mental health issues, many employers are now keen to improve, and then share, their care practices.
For employers who work in sectors where lives can change drastically, long-hours are expected, or situations are fairly dangerous – or employees face public scrutiny – girding the organisation for every eventuality, or every type of employee need, is one way of protecting staff.
However, it can be hard to spot. Recent figures suggest that almost half of employees are uncomfortable telling managers they need time off to deal with their mental health.