HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) is planning a media enforcement campaign to tackle potentially illegal practices where interns are paid below the minimum wage.
A recent article in The Guardian suggests that a number of MPs are breaking the law by taking on unpaid or underpaid interns.
This is a problem that has been going on for a while, as illustrated by The Guardian back in 2009 who outed MPs to be saving £5m a year in staffing costs from using unpaid interns.
A statement from HM Revenue and Customs states: “Evidence suggests that young workers who apply for internships or work experience are unlikely to proactively complain about non-payment of National Minimum Wage.
“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.”