Back in August 2013, Minister for Employment Jo Swinson announced that HMRC would be ‘naming and shaming’ companies that were not paying the national minimum wage, including in the case of unpaid interns.
Whilst this process has taken some time to get going, it is now fantastic to see that HMRC have released their first list of companies to the public. Coupled with the big increase in fines for non-payment of the minimum wage to £20,000 per employee that we had called for, we think this sends a really clear message to companies that might want to break the law and not pay their interns.
There were a number of important pay-outs regarding internships on the list, including £167,000 paid out by one major recruitment company to several former interns. This is a fantastic win for those people, who have now been rightly paid for the work that they did. However, whilst many companies have been named, this recruitment agency has managed to escape their brand being tarnished. Sadly, this does (sort of) defeat the point of ‘name and shame’…
In the past couple of years, interns have claimed back hundreds of thousands of pounds from employers for the work that they have done. If you have done an unpaid internship and would like advice on how you might claim back your pay, then click here for more information.