HM Revenue and Customs
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HMRC targets fashion houses exploiting interns

HMRC targets fashion houses exploiting interns

News Release issued by the COI News Distribution Service on 08 December 2011

Fashion houses are the latest targets of an HM Revenue & Customs campaign aimed at ending the exploitation of interns.

HMRC has written to a number of fashion houses and designer labels warning them about non-payment of the National Minimum Wage.

The letters are being sent to fashion houses that exhibited at London Fashion Week in September 2011, and are expected to do so again at the capital’s Fashion Week in February.

Michelle Wyer, HMRC’s Assistant Director for National Minimum Wage, said:

“These letters give fashion houses plenty of warning that they are under scrutiny. If they are not playing by the rules, now is the time to put things right. Non-payment of the national minimum wage is not an option.

“Our message is clear: don’t wait for us to come knocking on your door; put things right now and avoid a penalty and possible prosecution.”

Letters to 102 fashion labels have been issued, with compliance visits due to begin early in the New Year.

Notes to editors

1. Rates of national minimum wage are available here:
2. Information on penalties are available here:
3. Non-payment statistics are available here:
4. Evidence suggests that young workers who apply for internships or work experience are unlikely to proactively complain about non-payment of NMW. To tackle the issue HMRC will conduct targeted enforcement on trade sectors that traditionally use interns and work experience as a means for young people to gain the experience necessary to work in these trade sectors.
5. Targeted enforcement activity can include (but is not limited to):Unannounced visits to companies Educational work to help employers understand their responsibilities
6. Follow HMRC on Twitter: @HMRCgovuk

NAT 102/11


HM Revenue & Customs Press Office

Sara Pont
Phone: 020 7147 0394

Jonathan Hall
Phone: 020 7147 0052

HMRC Out of Hours
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