Author Topic: HMRC targets unpaid intern employers [UK]  (Read 351 times)

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Online EC

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HMRC targets unpaid intern employers [UK]
« on: November 11, 2013, 01:55:36 AM »
Via the BBC: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-24894014

Quote
HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) is targeting 200 employers who recently advertised internships to ensure they are paying the minimum wage.

The agency, which is responsible for enforcing the national minimum wage, is sending out letters to the companies, and will carry out "targeted checks".

The move comes as the government outlines new guidance to young interns to ensure they are properly paid.

There is concern some employers are using unpaid interns as cheap labour.

Currently the national minimum wage is set at £3.72 an hour for under-18s, rising to £6.31 for those aged 21 and over.

The Trades Union Congress has previously estimated that up to 250,000 workers are not being paid the minimum wage.

The Unite union suggests that more than a third of the top 50 charities in the UK hire unpaid interns.

Last year HMRC identified a total of 736 employers who paid staff less than they were entitled to or nothing at all.

"Not paying the national minimum wage is illegal and if an employer breaks the law, government will take tough action," employment relations minister Jo Swinson said.


More at link.

Welp - that's just stopped me taking on any interns or work placements that are not family members of my current employees. Sorry guys, can't afford it.
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Offline Oceander

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Re: HMRC targets unpaid intern employers [UK]
« Reply #1 on: November 12, 2013, 12:40:26 AM »
£6.31 for those aged 21 and over

That's a pretty penny, as it corresponds to about US $10 under current exchange rates.

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Re: HMRC targets unpaid intern employers [UK]
« Reply #2 on: November 12, 2013, 02:53:13 AM »
Yep - and I just can't do it. Been hard enough to meet payroll the last few years as it is. All 5 of my staff have had a (totally voluntary) pay freeze since 2009. If I can't give them what they deserve, I am certainly not paying some unskilled intern.

It is annoying, too. We have always been part of a work placement scheme for trainee conservators - even back when it was a one man show.
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