The National Minimum Wage is 15 years old this week and it seems that many employers are still not complying with this most basic employment right as HMRC announce that 26,000 employees received back pay totalling £4million last year.

Personnel Today have published a great article highlighting the top ten excuses HMRC have received from employers not paying NMW which makes for an amusing read.

The line in the article that interested us the most is, however, tucked away neatly at the end.

“Calls to HMRC’s pay and work rights helpline from interns who are working without pay, or for ‘expenses only’, are currently being fast-tracked to HMRC enforcement officers for investigation.”

Employers beware – the days of cheap or free labour by taking on interns is drawing to a close. Rightly so we believe.

Offering genuine work experience opportunities is a great thing – exploiting people desperate to get a foot in the door of a particular industry is not.

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