Fashion houses warned about unpaid interns

HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) has written to a number of fashion houses and designer labels warning them about non-payment of the national minimum wage to interns.

The letters were sent to fashion houses that exhibited at London Fashion Week in September 2011 and are expected to do so again at London Fashion Week in February 2012.

Letters have been issued to 102 fashion labels, including Burberry, Nicole Farhi, Mulberry and Paul Smith, with compliance visits due to begin early in 2012.

Michelle Wyer, assistant director for national minimum wage at HMRC, 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.”

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