Most workers in England and Wales of school leaver’s age and above are entitled to receive the National Minimum Wage currently £3.68 for those under 18. However a number of companies offer ‘unpaid internships’ which provide experience to interns without remuneration. Several of these companies are currently being investigated to see if they are breaching the National Minimum Wage legislation.
Where an internship involves work a paid employee would otherwise be doing the argument is they should be paid. Pressure groups such as Intern Aware seek to further the rights of interns by discouraging advertising of non-paid internships. The minimum wage is designed to ensure workers are not exploited and the concern in using unpaid staff and calling them ‘interns’ is a great worry for some. However, the experience gained as an intern and the increased employability of an intern who has undertaken work experience should not be overlooked.
A balance clearly needs to be struck to stop interns working for no pay and the need for employers to be encouraged to open their doors to provide genuine internships and work experience. HMRC’s investigation should hopefully provide some guidance moving forward.
If you are an intern or if your company has internship schemes and you would like to find out more contact us here today.
Andrew is a Commercial & Employment Law solicitor in Leicester. Our Solicitors in Leicester are experts in their fields and dedicated to quality client care. If you would like to find out more about our solicitors in Leicester please contact us.
Keep up to date with our daily blogs through the Edward Hands & Lewis mobile app, just search Edward Hands on the iPhone or Android store to download our app for free.
Talk to our legal team
The information provided in all of our blogs reflects only a narrative of some elements to consider on the topic. The blogs do not contain considered legal advice and should not be relied upon as advice. Please see our website terms and conditions for full details of our disclaimer. If you are interested in obtaining advice, please contact one of our lawyers who will be happy and able to advise you on your own particular circumstances.