Customs issues guidance to MPs over minimum wage for interns

Customs staff are due to issue guidance to the House of Commons following newspaper report that some MPs could be breaking minimum wage laws in the employment of interns.

Reports said interns could be eligible for the minimum wage if they were obliged to work set hours.

A spokeswoman for Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs said: “HMRC and the Department of Trade and Industry have worked with the Department of Finance and Administration in the House of Commons on guidance for MPs, as small employers, on placing interns and the minimum wage.

“The guidance, together with a letter, will be circulated to all MPs, later this month.”

She also said the workings of a website for MPs, which includes advertisements for intern posts, would be updated. In future, when people submit adverts to be posted on the W4MP website, they will receive a message directing them to the guidance and making them aware of possible minimum wage implications.

“The guidance explains the possible national minimum wage implications of engaging interns,” the spokeswoman said. “It explains that the term ‘interns’ is not used in minimum wage legislation.

“What matters is whether an individual is a worker for minimum wage purposes – and that will depend on the detail of individual arrangements.”


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