In today’s struggling economic climate it’s not uncommon for companies to take on interns, many of whom are unpaid or given a low wage. Often interns work full time hours, and although the training on offer is essential for them to progress in their career, it’s unfair that they are not offered a livable wage in return.
HMRC is currently looking for employers who hire interns to work for free. They are forcing businesses to pay at least the minimum wage to interns, instead of using them as unfair, free labour.
HMRC will be carrying out checks on organisations who offer internships, to ensure they are being fair and paying the minimum wage. Recently, businesses have been highlighted in the news for offering a very low wage to young interns, and warned they were not paying enough. It has been reported that an estimated fifteen well known charities in the UK are offering unpaid intern jobs, which is illegal.
In future, if a company is caught not paying interns at least the minimum wage, they will be breaking the law and dealt with accordingly. Regardless of whether an employer is working as an intern or not, they should be paid a reasonable to wage as a basic human right otherwise the company is exploiting the intern scheme.