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HMRC targeting unpaid internships

11 November 2013

HM Revenue & Customs is stepping up its checks that employers offering internships are paying at least the minimum wage, the BBC is reporting today.

The tax authority has sent out letters to 200 companies who recently advertised for interns, and is to carry out "targeted checks" as the Government attempts to clamp down on unpaid interns being used as cheap labour.

Video guidance has been published for young interns to ensure they are properly paid, along with a poster campaign.

HMRC, which is responsible for enforcing the minimum wage, last year identified a total of 736 employers who failed to pay staff their minimum entitlement.

"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.

"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."

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