Pay guidance for work experience and interns

The Government has published guidance for businesses that offer work experience, placements and internships.

The new guidance clarifies when someone is entitled to the national minimum wage, as well as a new worker checklist for employers, including examples of case studies.

According to the guidance, entitlement to the minimum wage does not depend on a job title, but on whether the arrangement they have with the employer makes them a ‘worker’ for national minimum wage purposes.

Commenting, employment relations minister Edward Davey said: “Internships and work experience all forms an excellent opportunity in helping to bridge the gap between education and the workplace. And for businesses it allows them access to a wide talent pool of some of our best and brightest who didn’t take the traditional route into a job.

“Fairness though is absolutely paramount with all placements. When a worker is entitled to the minimum wage, they should be paid it and we will continue to enforce the law.”

The Trades Union Congress (TUC) has welcomed the guidance, claiming that the ‘growing misuse of interns is becoming one of the biggest abuses of the minimum wage’.

TUC  general secretary Brendan Barber said: “It’s good to see the government finally taking this issue seriously, and it’s essential that the guidance is used by young people to ensure that they get paid what they are due.

“But guidance alone won’t end this abuse and it needs to be backed up with tougher enforcement of the minimum wage.”

More information on the guidance can be found here.