HM Revenue and Customs has begun cracking down on companies offering unpaid internships.
The move is part of an initiative to ensure that interns and young people are aware of what rights they have over pay, and where to go if they feel they are being exploited.
HMRC has written to 200 employers who have recently advertised for interns to make sure that they are complying with minimum wage legislation. Already it has been revealed that enforcement action has been taken after two employers were found not to have not paid the minimum wage during London Fashion Week. Underpaid wages were subsequently paid to both workers involved.
Employment Relations Minister Jo Swinson said: “Not paying the national minimum wage is illegal and if an employer breaks the law, the Government will take tough action. Already this year HMRC has issued penalties to 466 employers. Anyone considered a worker under the law should be paid at least the minimum wage, whether they are an intern or someone on work experience.”
Minimum Wage is currently set at £6.31 for those aged 21 and over, £5.03 for those aged between 18 and 20 and £3.72 for those aged under 18.
For more guidance on employment rights for interns please visit https://www.gov.uk/employment-rights-for-interns
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December 12th, 2013