The government is to put increased pressure on employers abusing national minimum wage laws, after a successful campaign has resulted in £192,808 in wages being awarded to unpaid interns.
The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) has pledged to take use more aggressive measures after HMRC’s success over the last tax year in reclaiming unpaid wages for 167 interns, volunteers and work experience workers.
Over the coming year, BIS will roll out a social media campaign, publish a handout for students and encourage young people to name businesses with suspect employment practices for investigation.
Employment relations minister Jo Swinson announced that victims of unpaid internship abuse are eligible to claim back pay for placements from the last six years.
Those on the hunt for student or graduate internships themselves are asked to report possible employment abuse if they see adverts for long term unpaid positions, she said.
The news coincides with recent reports that a biomedical engineering internship was being auctioned off to the highest bidder.