HMRC crackdown on the fashion industry – Read about it below in our article.
Fashion companies who use unpaid interns not being paid the national minimum wage will be targeted by HMRC.
A 12 person task force will make unannounced inspections where they suspect unpaid interns are being used to carry out work rather than shadow staff.
The task force will have powers to question managers and check through accounting.
It is the first industry to be targeted for the abuse of interns and follows heavy criticism from the Low Pay Commission over a lack of enforcement action.
Some clothes companies openly advertise unpaid internships can last for months.
An HMRC internal briefing document highlights the growing nature of the intern problem.
It says that in recent years there has been a large rise in the number of UK companies offering unpaid internships. The fashion industry will be targeted in the next six months due to its reputation of using interns particularly highly.
An HMRC source told the Guardian newspaper: “If you are in that industry and you have interns, there’s no reason to think that we won’t be knocking on your door.”