It is over two years since the Guardian carried an article saying MPs faced an enquiry for allegedly breaking the minimum wage laws by hiring young people as unpaid interns to work in the offices in parliament and their constituencies.
One Liberal Democracy comes out of the article very well: John Hemming, the MP for BirminghamYardley. Apparently he offered potential interns a bed in his home to ensure students from wider social backgrounds could apply for voluntary posts.
He said that he had since dropped employing interns altogether. “I am aware that the present system means that only people from wealthy backgrounds or a particular class can take up such offers which is why I offered some accommodation.”
“But I have now decided that since they are all volunteers, it is better to employ full time staff.”
In the same article, Alistair Darling, the trade and industry secretary, was quoted as saying, that organisations caught flouting the minimum wage laws could be fined £200 for each person they exploited. Have they?