News story

Brit Awards record labels face the music on unpaid interns

This news article was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

Major record labels involved in this year’s Brit Awards are among the latest targets of HMRC's continued crackdown on unpaid internships.

In the run up to one of the music industry’s biggest nights, HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) is writing to record labels and event companies warning them about the consequences for non-payment of the National Minimum Wage for any unpaid interns they take on.

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

Non-payment of the National Minimum Wage is not an option, it’s the law, and we’re letting the music industry know that we’ve got them in our sights. If they are not playing by the rules, now is the time to put things in order.

Last year we fined over around 800 employers, so our message is clear: if you are not paying your interns, but should be, come forward now and put things right to avoid a penalty.

Employment Relations Minister Jenny Willott said:

The music industry is often seen as a glamorous industry to work in, particularly for young people. However, that is no excuse for interns not to be paid at least the minimum wage if they are employed as a worker. We need to make sure that interns who want a career in music are getting a fair deal and are not being exploited.

Letters to 35 record and events companies have been sent to set out the rules with follow up compliance visits due to begin later in the year to check the rules are being followed.

Anyone concerned that they are being paid less than the National Minimum Wage should contact the free Pay and Work Rights Helpline on 0800 917 2368.