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…