National minimum wage & unpaid work experience policy
What types of vacancies can I advertise with the PCC?
We recognise that employers recruit for “real” positions and expect students and graduates to be able to quickly adapt into the role. Students need valuable work experience as evidence of their skills, commitment and understanding of the industry. We are happy to advertise all legitimate vacancies that meet with current employment law, which includes the National Minimum Wage Act (1998).
National Minimum Wage (NMW)
The National Minimum Wage (NMW) is a minimum amount per hour which most workers in the UK are entitled to be paid. With a few exceptions, it applies to all workers over the compulsory school leaving age. The rate is reviewed every year and any changes take place in October. All employers have to pay the NMW to workers who are eligible for it – there are no exceptions for different types or size of employer. Where an employee works in the UK makes no difference to the level of NMW a worker should receive.
There are different levels of NMW, which depend on your age. The rates from 1st October 2012 are:
- Adults (which means people aged 21 and over) receive the full rate of £6.19 per hour
- Workers aged 18 to 20 inclusive, receive a rate of £4.98 per hour (often known as the developmental rate)
- Young workers receive £3.68 per hour (often known as the youth rate). A young worker is someone who is older than school leaving age and younger than 18.
As an employer, you are breaking the law if you do not comply with the National Minimum Wage Act. To find out who is entitled to the National Minimum Wage please look at the information on Directgov.
Can I advertise unpaid opportunities with the PCC?
Due to current legislation surrounding unpaid vacancies and National Minimum Wage, Brunel’s PCC will not be able to advertise your vacancy if it is unpaid unless you are a registered charity or statutory body. Our position is in line with our professional Association of Graduate Careers Advisory Services (AGCAS) body and is explained in their position statement.
We require all employers advertising opportunities with us to pay the National Minimum Wage unless covered by one of the exemptions currently in place and allowed by the Act. HM Revenue & Customs have detailed information about employers PAYE obligations including National Minimum Wage.
We ask that you consider the implications for your organisation of not making all positions, including internships, accessible to anybody with the skills and potential to succeed and avoiding restrictions on social mobility.
For information regarding work experience, internships and National Minimum Wage DirectGov provides clarification.
Are there any exceptions to National Minimum Wage?
There are some situations where exemptions apply and Directgov can provide more information.
What other options are available to me?
We know that without experience, particularly in sectors such as media, advertising and PR, it is very difficult to compete for work and for many students unpaid work experience provides a route in.
Work experience can take many different forms with some employers offering established work experience schemes for six months to a year. These are generally limited to students who have taken a placement year as part of their course and tend to focus on a particular subject or year group.
The Placement team within the PCC can provide information about recognised schemes. Accredited undergraduate placements (6-12 months full-time) generally need to meet specific requirements and although placements are exempt from NMW, they are generally paid. Further details and general information including expectations for the type of work and salary can be provided by contacting the Placement team at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We also recognise that some employers are able to offer paid work experience during the vacation periods, on a part-time basis throughout the year or for a short period to current students and recent graduates. The Job Shop within the PCC is able to advertise such vacancies and can be contacted at email@example.com.
Please feel free to contact us if you would like to further discuss your needs at 01895 266840 or firstname.lastname@example.org or on one of the email addresses listed above.
Where can I find additional information?
Additional information for employers can be found at: