20 January 2014
The guidance, produced by the Department for Business, Innovation & Skills (BIS) in collaboration with Channel 4’s 4Talent, will include a new video and posters clearly explaining to people leaving education and making their first step on the career ladder:
• what their rights are in relation to being paid the National Minimum Wage (NMW),
• where to go for more information,
• what action they can take if they feel they have been exploited.
Information available to young people will also be boosted online and through social media such as the NMW Facebook page.
Alongside the new guidance, HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) who enforce the NMW on behalf of BIS, will be sending out letters to 200 employers who have recently advertised intern opportunities and unpaid work. The letters will alert businesses that HMRC will shortly be carrying out a series of targeted checks to make sure employers who have advertised internships are paying all their workers the correct NMW rate.
Employment Relations Minister Jo Swinson said:
“Leaving education and getting a job for the first time can be daunting for any young person. Internships can provide an important first step and are often a valuable way of helping young people start work. They should be open to everyone in a fair and transparent way.
“To do this, we have to give young people the information and support they need so they are less likely to be exploited. This is why I’m delighted to launch the new video and posters produced with 4Talent.
“We will continue to work closely with HMRC to clamp down on rogue employers. The targeted letters being sent to employers advertising internships is just one example of this work. By raising awareness of NMW rates and the law we will make sure people play by the rules and treat their workers fairly.”
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