HMRC campaign to lift lid on silent interns

HM Revenue & Customs is in the planning stages of a media enforcement campaign, which will tackle potentially illegal practices where interns are not paid the minimum wage by companies.

HM Revenue & Customs is in the planning stages of a media enforcement campaign, which will tackle potentially illegal practices where interns are not paid the minimum wage by companies.

A piece in yesterday’s Guardian suggests that a number of MPs are breaking the law by taking on interns without paying them minimum wage.

However, the problem in parliament is not new, with the same paper also publishing an article on 31 July 2009 stating that unpaid interns were worth £5m a year in staffing costs.

A statement from HMRC reads: “Evidence suggests that young workers who apply for internships or work experience are unlikely to proactively complain about non-payment of NMW.

“Therefore, to tackle the issue HMRC will conduct targeted enforcement on those trade sectors who traditionally use interns and work experience as a means for young people to gain the experience necessary to work in these trade sectors.

“Targeted enforcement activity can include (but is not limited to): Unannounced visits to companies, and educational work to help employers understand their responsibilities.”

Read Recruiter, out tomorrow (30 November) for more on interns and internships.

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