In the last week, the government has announced that it is planning to take more aggressive steps to clamp down on employers who do not pay the national minimum wage after successfully reclaiming £192,808 in unpaid wages owed to interns, volunteers and work experience workers over the last tax year.
The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) has confirmed that over the coming year it plans to:
- Launch a social media campaign to encourage people to identify employers for investigation.
- Produce a booklet to make graduates aware of their employment rights.
- Fast track calls made by unpaid interns to the government's pay and work rights helpline.
- Enable unpaid interns to claim back payment for placements which they have undertaken in the past six years.
The whole issue of unpaid interships has been recently covered by mainstreem media when corrspondence between the employment relations minister Jo Swinson and MP Hazel Blears become public.