February 13th, 2014

Leaked Tory Memo Tells MPs to Dodge Minimum Wage Laws
MPs Told “Don’t Mention Work” in Adverts to Bend Rules

Click to enlarge.

A leaked internal Tory memo advises MPs on how to get away with exploiting their unpaid interns without breaking the very same minimum wage laws those MPs insist other employers adhere to. Unpaid intern campaign website Graduate Fog has got hold of the memo which urges MPs to seek out loopholes in their own legislation:

Swap the phrase “You will be expected to…” for “The kind of activities it would be great to get some help with include…”

- Don’t mention ”work”, “worker”, “tasks” or “hours” – but instead ask applicants to offer their “help” with “campaigning administration”

- Instead, use the words “volunteer” and “volunteering”

- Take care only to reimburse expenses for actual bought items, as opposed to a flat rate per week. This is because “regular payments of expenses are likely to give the volunteer the right to the minimum wage” and create a “risk” that they will be “classed as a worker” and therefore must be paid.

So the Tories tell employers that they must pay employees doing work the minimum wage, yet advise their own MPs on how to dodge the rules. Which has to win the hypocrisy of the day award…


  1. 1
    Owen Jones GNVQ says:

    Tory Scum


  2. 2
    Fucktards says:

    Dickheads are not only hypocrites but have handed next week’s PMQs to Miliband on a platter, not that Labour aren’t hypocrites on this too.


    • 7
      Casual Observer 6 says:

      Parliament is in recess next week.

      Might give Miliband an edge before the 24th, but by then the bigger scams at Labour may be out.


    • 104
      Jack de mandingo Dromney says:

      I am offering Santiago a position in my office.
      It’s bent over the table.


  3. 3
    Casual Observer 6 says:

    Labour are up to the same no doubt.


    • 62
      non taxable pikey says:

      Well hopefully someone will blow the whistle on them too.


      • 132
        I dislike socialists intensely says:

        The day that Labour can talk with a straight face about ethics or hypocrisy
        is the day that I join the Socialists Worker Party.


  4. 5
    Now now, Jimmy, don't hide says:

    Hey Jimmy! Another opportunity to answer the question you keep dodging. It’s very simples, Jimbo! You never shy from comment normally, so this should be easy peasy lemon squeezy!

    How many illegal wars has Cameron waged in which 1 million died?


  5. 6
    Newbie says:

    How stupid are these morons?


    • 28
      Anonymous says:

      Stupid is not the word…they are incorrigible.


    • 39
      Sir William Wayde says:

      If you pay peanuts, you get monkeys. A wet-behind-the-ears PPE graduate won’t actually be able to do anything useful and is likely only to irritate and impede the actual staff.


      • 59
        Wee Willie at the FO says:

        I’ll find something young men can do don’t you worry! The girls will have to make their own arrangements.


      • 67
        Jeremiah says:

        Could be the son/daughter to a miilionaire type deciding to have gap year before he goes to Oxbridgeto do his PPE


  6. 8
    Nemesis says:

    I bet the bastards that wrote this are not on the minimum wage or less, in fact I bet they’re on really big money. It’s this type of thing that adds up to the hatred felt by so many in our ‘classless’ society. Bob Crow is often vilified but after reading this garbage I support all he’s done for his work force. Fucking Tories are the worse bastards on earth for hypocrisy.


    • 9
      Casual Observer 6 says:

      Given the level of debt students leave university with these days, this is not really on.


      • 13
        C.O.Jones says:

        Too true! £50K debt (minimum) before they even enter the workforce.


        • 70
          Anonymous says:

          Tory scum.


          • The Boy Plunger says:

            Most specialist jobs these days insist on a postgraduate qualification too so you can add that to the tab.

            Leave school at 16, get a weekend job and open a spread betting account seems the best way ahead .


          • C.O.Jones says:

            Not the wishing to be pedantic here but it was Labour who introduced Student Tuition Fees, as with all revenue generating tools that any govt introduces they will only ever go UP.

            The student grant (maintenance grant for full time students from a poor background) is less now than it was in 1978 (£3,500) and now 2014 (£3,387).

            There is more money available to students from poorer backgrounds but these come in the form of Maintenance Loans which must be paid back.


    • 11
      Mitch says:

      They don’t have a monopoly on hypocrisy, but this is wrong. Pay people for producing goods or services – that’s how it works. It isn’t hard.


      • 72
        Dougie says:

        I’ve done quite a bit of volunteering. When I do, I don’t want payment for my services. If I want payment, I apply for what is called a “job”.


    • 63
      Dougie says:

      You seem to be very confused. I don’t think many of Bob Crow’s workforce (or shouldn’t that be TfL’s workforce?) will be volunteering for the Conservative Party.


  7. 10

    Reblogged this on wheelsofpoliticalsteel and commented:
    So the Government is now actually giving advice on how to avoid paying people the minimum wage! Absolutely priceless!


  8. 12
    I like this video says:

    Juicy booty!


  9. 14
    C.O.Jones says:

    More votes for UKIP.


  10. 15
    Our EU membership fee: 22 billion reasons to vote UKIP says:

    Slavery is a core Conservative value.


    • 18
      Spartacus says:

      but today it is the middle income whites that are enslaved


    • 23
      Casual Observer 6 says:

      No, slavery isn’t.

      Bonded labor is perhaps within their realm of interest.

      Other than the obvious ethical problem with such advice as exhibited above, there is a very fundamental issue for democracy here.

      The avoidance of paying interns money – or those who are interested in starting a political career on this route, is closed to those who do not have the means of servicing the debt incurred whilst studying, and ‘working’ for free.

      Employers who wish to follow suit have no reason not to now.

      If they wish to seek volunteers, that is one thing, but a volunteer role is very different to an internship.


      • 89
        Jeremiah says:

        It’s a bit like the old articled clerks for chartered accountants and solicitors, you had to have served your articles before before you became aa acccountant or solicitor, even thouh you took the same exams, non articled clerks became certified accountants and non articled solicitors became legal executives , they could practice on their own but were restricted as what they could do. If someones very rich mummy and daddy could afford to sent their kids to Eton or one of the others, they could easily sponsor said kids through uni. and Tory internship, got to have the right types you know.


        • 94
          Casual Observer 6 says:

          But the articled clerks etc. did not public guidelines among themselves on how to avoid specific parts of employment legislation.

          That is one difference.

          The other is that the articled positions generally did lead to actual position and they were paid.

          The discriminatory nature based on socioeconomic lines which is suggested is also somewhat dodgy turf these days.


  11. 16
    Spartacus says:

    as far as i can see, they are just trying to avoid IR35


    • 20
      Erm..and the wages?? says:

      Yeah, that’s why it doesn’t mention IR35 at all.


    • 25
      Casual Observer 6 says:

      They are trying to avoid everything.

      The IR35 would apply to the intern if they became self employed for the purpose of filling a contract role which should be a regular staffed position.

      IR35 cannot apply in this case as there appears to be no employment contract involved.


    • 92
      Jeremiah says:

      What would happen if they were to have an accident at work through no fault of their own, that could be a little tricky to explain if legal action ensues.


    • 93
      Jeremiah says:

      S, there is such a thing as an implied contract to work.


  12. 22
    The Guardian says:

    Thanks for this.


  13. 24
    ukip.i.am.not says:

    Surely Cameron should sack someone for this. Will he himself resign? Vermin the lot of them.


  14. 26
    DP Dance says:

    Are the people who write this stuff, knowing it to be wrong, so thick that they don’t think they’ll be found out?


    • 98
      Jeremiah says:

      They didn’t get where they are today without being thick (a bit harsh) more like a lack of common sense. HMRC are the ones who (from memory) determine who is employed and who is not CCHQ


  15. 27
    Dr Evil says:

    What a bunch of two faced, vicious, uncaring bastards they are. I’m never voting for any of the establishment parties ever again. They are all evil.


  16. 29
    Casual Observer 6 says:

    If Labour wanted to go for the kill on this issue, they just need to point out that the Conservatives received a very large – £750,000 – bequest from a woman who died the other week, and who her family thought was a Labour supporter.


  17. 32
    DLT discharged near me says:

    Can I go to Huhnes jail your honour?


  18. 33
    Polly Garter from Llaregub says:

    If paying under the minimum wage is a criminal offence, then inciting and encouraging others to do so is also a criminal offence.

    Good work Guido!

    I have emailed a copy of your evidence to the Authorities who will be in touch with you in due course.


  19. 34
    Sir Thomas Bertram, gent (1814) says:

    All my loyal agriculuralists at Antigua are willing volunteers.


  20. 35
    The Managing Director says:

    Will all staff note that under no circumstances are school or student work placements to be used within this organization until you are notified to the contrary.


  21. 37
    J.Savile says:

    BREAKING: DLT cleared of 12 counts of indecent assault. Jury couldn’t decide on 2 other counts.


  22. 44
    Ah! licence to grope says:

    Dave Lee Travis Not Guilty On 12 Charges


  23. 45
    Harry Hill says:

    Crown Prosecution Service – useless

    Environment Agency -useless

    But who’s the uselessest? There’s only one way to find out!!!…..


  24. 48
    A graduate says:

    Ah fuck it, I’ll just claim bennies and play Xbox all day.


  25. 53
    Hairy cornflake cleared says:

    Dave Lee Travis trial: DJ cleared of indecent assault


    • 139

      I always knew you were innocent! That’s what they used to tell me back in Chile……that they were innocent – but we’ve heard it all before I used to tell them, before attaching the electrodes!

      Viva UKIP


  26. 57
    minimum age say 40 says:

    If MPs had to be over the age of 40 before standing at a stroke all these inters, get a life outside politics who don’t, and avoiding quota rules to acquire more women in parliament would be achieved.


    • 83
      A Socialist researcher says:

      That is ageism.

      That is not allowed.


    • 103
      John Bellingham says:

      The US Constitution requires that Senators be at least 30 years of age and Representatives at least 25 years. This was established when even a wealthy planter was lucky to get past 50 and general life expectancy for men was 40 years and six months and the rules never been changed. The President must be at least 35 years old.


    • 114
      Jeremiah says:

      In my area it used to be those not over 35 need not apply, but that referred applying for a job, I see no reason why MPs should not be 40+ with a retirement age of 70 max


  27. 60
    Michael Jackson says:

    I was cleared and yet everyone still thought I was guilty. Not fair.



  28. 61
    Casual Observer 6 says:

    That this was leaked on a by election day where Labour could see their majority reduced is relevant.


    • 117
      Jeremiah says:

      It must have been a Tory that leaked it to Geedes who published it, someone will have to answer for this, a witchhunt will begin


  29. 64
    Just in case you do not have access to the news says:

    DLT Guilty on 12 charges


  30. 65
    Jo Swinson says:

    Now you mention it, there were some things I never got paid for at all when I was working with my friend Alison’s Uncle Chris Rennard. Should I have insisted on the minimum wage.


  31. 66
    C.O.Jones says:

    That’s it, I am voting for Captain Chaplington-Smythe.


  32. 74
    Casual Observer 6 says:

    If the prosecutions case fell apart so spectacularly, there is a very good question here.

    What exactly is going on in the CPS, and can this be considered the legacy of Kier Starmer ?


    • 87

      Since Tony Blair (always unhealthily attracted by celebrities) was responsible for the appointment of people such as Baroness Scotland, Kier Starmer, who was appointed to the CPS by her, is yet another product of Blair’s inversion of the pyramid as regards the workings of UK legal jurisprudence and practice.


  33. 76
    Lily Savage MP says:

    I’ll have you know my staff are very generously paid. We’re like family.


  34. 78
    Slavery says:

    Do not call them volunteers just call them slaves.


  35. 86
    Casual Observer 6 says:

    So with a jury of 8 women and 4 men, and 14 counts of various sex offences, the CPS could not secure a single conviction.

    Then they have the brass neck to ask for a further 7 days to decide if they wish to go for a retrial on the remaining two charges of which the jury ould not decide – even with the Judges direction for a reduced majority of 10.

    The reduced majority incidentally being the minimum possible for this type of offence, and in itself an affront to justice given the nature of the offence.

    Something is very wrong with the CPS.


    • 90

      It is all posturing due to the fact that Savile got away with what he did.

      In addition to the enormity of Savile’s own crimes, many more lives are going to be made unbearable for the sake of gravy-train non-victims.


      • 96
        Casual Observer 6 says:

        I agree that the CPS and many other parts of the state machinery are still dealing (unsuccessfully) with fallout from Savile.

        On a broader note – and to your Blair remark above, one can detect also the further degrading of the UK criminal justice system in order to harmonize it with the lesser systems which are found in Continental Europe.

        The failure to find the M’cCann girl, which is still ongoing, is one good case in point there.


    • 91
      CPS guilty as charged says:

      I agree with you.

      If you think their recent performance has been poor, remember, these have been high profile cases where they knew the public would be watching and they have presumably been trying their best.

      Just think about how dire they can be when they are prosecuting in magistrates courts well out of the press’s gaze.


      • 99
        Casual Observer 6 says:

        The press attention would not have affected the CPS case.

        If it has then there is a further problem with CPS.

        I do not believe the CPS have been trying their best to uphold justice and bring strong prosecution cases to that end.

        The CPS most certainly are showing the signs of being a rogue and somewhat politicized operation. This is a fundamental problem for a free and open society, not helped when the likes of Ken Clarke are still running around making the case for all courts to be in camera.

        Heads really do have to roll now.


    • 124
      The Harriet Harman Petty Laws says:

      When did sexual assault get redefined to pinching a bottom and r@pe to having consensual intercourse?


  36. 88
    William Wilberforce says:

    What a total waste of my fucking time!


  37. 101
    Reckless Tracey says:

    Found this very useful when I “employed” my interns or “plebs” as we call them


  38. 105
    RedPoll says:

    More faux outrage from Guido. I sometimes have to get involved in HR matters; the law is complex and an utter nightmare, and the penalties for getting it wrong can be severe. This memo isn’t encouraging anyone to “bend” rules. No doubt in the run up to the election MPs of all parties will be looking for help to campaign, and will want to take on volunteers to do so. I doubt that many constituency offices have on-tap employment advice so trying to pre-empt MPs/candidates putting out ill thought out adverts that could lead to trouble later on is no bad thing. Having bothered to read the memo, as far as I can tell it says if you want to employ someone, pay them (at least) the NMW but if you want a volunteer, here’s how to do it properly.


  39. 107
    Casual Observer 6 says:

    Naughty Labour:


    • 137
      Judge Dreadful says:

      Blatant disregard for the law.

      The Labour Party candidate should be banned from being on the ballot.

      That would teach them.


  40. 109
    found 'em out says:

    just more deceit/lies/hypocrisy/illegality from a british government

    goes well with the 10 year hidden agenda relating to the flooding in somerset – delberately left to flood a s policy but nobody told the locals, the councils, the builders – fucking british government excels in deceit/lies/hypocrisy/illegality – and nothing else


  41. 110
    BBC NEWS says:

    Gordon Brown MP: Mark Ferguson and H@rry Cole



  42. 112
    BBC NEWS says:

    Gordon Brown MP: Mark Ferguson and H@rry C0le



  43. 113
    Casual Observer 6 says:

    Is this the best way for Labour to behave ?


    • 118
      Experience says:

      Yes, that is the Labour Party way: when you encounter opposition, break the law.


      • 120
        Abdul the Envelope Stuffer says:

        Shhhh. That’s supposed to be a a secret


        • 134
          the shoveler says:

          Who is it going around the flooded areas vandalising sewage pumps?
          Random idiots or someone wanting to make the fallout from the floods worse?


      • 127
        Jeremiah says:

        Or is it the Cons who don’t want to be knocked into 3rd position by UKIP?


        • 131
          Jimmy says:

          Given that they’ve spent the last week getting their excuses in if I had to guess I’d say they did it themselves.


          • Mad, Sad Al, emptying the pills into his booze says:

            One again, Jimmy is pleasantly reminded of the activities of his National Socialist pals.

            Guten Kristalnacht, Jimbo


      • 143

        I was at Hove Town Hall when our Glorious leader, Nigel Farage, was heckled & abused by the same Labour voting, benefit scrounging, unwashed scum that are trying to intimidate UKIP activists in Wythenshaw & Sale. So they all revert to type…….just like Shaun of the Dead!


    • 119
      Gordon MacBreath says:

      The wheels on the bus go .. in my car. In my car. in my car. The wheels on the bus go in my car .. ’cause i’m a thief.


    • 126
      Mornington Crescent says:

      “A bad day for UKIP”?

      I’d call that a bad day for Lay-bah in any civilised place – except I doubt the denizens of Wythenshawe would understand why.


    • 129
      This lady condones Crime and intimidating the electorate says:

      Star Etheridge


      Wife of milroy666, Mother, MUFC fan, ⭐️♿️Disability Spokeswoman @UKIP, Professional Dalek Rider, opinionated & ditsy (This Is my Personal Acc 4 Personal Views)

      West Midlands · staretheridge.co.uk


    • 140
      Enemy of the State says:

      Vote Labour or we will kill you just as we killed the Czar and Czarina and the 120 million Chinese and 3 Million Cambodians and 80 Million White Russians and as many Christians as we can – God DAMN communists socialists and their ilk for they live on the blood of the innocent.


  44. 116
    oBVIOUS says:



  45. 130
    Anonymous says:

    Sorry non story. A very useful guide to the law for associations – who will incidentally be run by volunteers. I have been an intern/volunteer for the Conservative party for 36 years. Delivering, canvassing, writing leaflets, maintaining websites, running social events, being an unpaid election agent etc. That is how all political parties operate not just now but for 100+ years. Same situation for other volunteers – Scout leaders, Sunday School teachers, mentors for troubled teenagers, people who take elderly people out on trips etc. Often volunteers, political or otherwise, will take on demanding unpaid roles. I am currently putting in 40 hours a week unpaid for the party – but am looking for some volunteers to help me with the website and social media (out of my technical comfort zone). We live in litigious times and I don’t want to be sued as an unpaid volunteer by a volunteer who decides they should have been paid because I worded an e-mail incorrectly giving the impression I was advertising a paid job. The information in this guide is very useful and I shall bare it in mind when I send an e-mail round this weekend asking for someone to help me with social media. And for all the UKIP fans out there – as a small emerging party they will be even MORE dependent on unpaid volunteers that the mainstream parties. I doubt UKIP have any paid staff other than in their head office. Guido – how about praising those unpaid political activists – all parties – who go out in rain and shine, sacrifice their careers, spend their own money but ensure democracy continues (albeit imperfectly) in this country.


    • 136
      Seeing is believing says:

      “how about praising those unpaid political activists – all parties – who go out in rain and shine, sacrifice their careers, spend their own money but ensure democracy continues (albeit imperfectly) in this country.”

      If such people existed, that would be great. I have not seen a tory activist (other than a candidate for parliament at a hustings) in my area for the last decade.


      • 142
        Anonymous says:

        Volunteer yourself – any party – Conservative, Labour, LD, UKIP then you will see how tough it is and how much work there is to do. I am FED UP with these armchair generals who do bugger all, but then complain they have not seen a party canvasser. Some areas have many, some areas have few. I lived in a safe Labour seat some years ago – there were 5 Conservative activists (unpaid, working in our spare time) to cover 45,000 houses and 70,000 voters. We did our best, but sorry if we did not get round to your house. So if you are a Conservative and feel there are not enough Conservatives canvassers in your area, then do your bit and canvass rather than criticise.


        • 144
          The Great Blitish Public says:

          Give up, you’re wasting your time, cast iron is a liar and cannot be trusted.


        • 149
          John Bellingham says:

          Why are so many Labour Party workers in my area council workers who just happen to be sick during election campaigns?


  46. 141
  47. 146
    Anonymous says:

    This isn’t really advice about how to get around the law, it’s advice about how not to break the law in the first place.


  48. 150
    Mark says:

    I dunno, there is a kind of symmetry to the whole thing. I mean, the Tories are supposedly the side of the businessman, so it makes sense that they tell their MPs to do the same kind of thing that everyone else is trying to do to keep costs down :P . Hypocrisy, thy name is government.


  49. 151
    John hudson says:

    What a corrupt government we have .!


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