In preparation for next Spring’s London Fashion Week, authorities are clamping down on business loopholes that allow fashion houses to take on hopeful youngsters for unpaid work.
HMRC have evidence of some well-known labels such as Alexander McQueen and Stella McCartney exploiting young individuals by not paying them the NMW.
Such is the competitive state of the fashion industry that graduates are clambering for any amount of work experience in the notoriously dog-eat-dog environment.
Michelle Wyer, HMRC’s assistant director for the NMW, says: “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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