UK Sport, whose government website hosted a Reading FC job advertisement for an unpaid analyst intern position, said it would like to work with intern organisations to ensure best practice is adhered to:
We would welcome the opportunity to discuss the issue this particular vacancy has raised with an organisation such as Interns Aware, to ensure the organisations advertising on our website are adhering to best practice guidelines.
The organisation distanced itself from the job posting and said its hosting of the advertisement did not amount to an endorsement of the role:
UK Sport provides a free service for advertising vacancies to help the sporting community find the best people for various opportunities across the UK.
The majority are salaried positions but in keeping with many other websites we do accept internships and voluntary roles as they can be important to sport, as well as those looking to progress their career in this competitive industry.
It is important to recognise these are not UK Sport roles, nor is UK Sport endorsing the advertised positions.
– UK Sport spokesperson
We gain no benefit, financial or otherwise from providing this free service which is designed to give sports organisations the opportunity to promote roles within their organisation as widely as possible.
Employment minister Jo Swinson urged interns who felt they were being exploited to call a hotline: "The law on the National Minimum Wage is clear. If somebody on a work experience placement or internship is a worker under NMW legislation, then they are entitled to the minimum wage."
"Internships can be a valuable way of helping young people get into work and realise their ambitions," she said.
"Anyone who feels they are being exploited should contact the Pay and Work Rights Helpline on 0800 917 2368."
– Spokesman for the Department of Business
The law on the National Minimum Wage is clear. If somebody on a work experience placement or internship is a worker under NMW legislation, then they are entitled to the minimum wage.
Internships can be a valuable way of helping young people get into work and realise their ambitions. Anyone who feels they are being exploited should contact the Pay and Work Rights Helpline.
Their call will be fast-tracked to HMRC who actively investigate any claims of NMW abuse.
The Employment Minister Jo Swinson has handed the details of 100 companies accused of breaking the law by using unpaid interns in paid roles to HM Revenue and Customs.
A spokesman for HMRC said it did not comment on individual investigations.
Employers break the law if they fill full-time positions, that would be subject to national minimum wage rules, with unpaid interns.
Intern Aware has campaigned for HMRC to investigate companies which break the law.
Co-director Ben Lyons said he was pleased Ms Swinson had decided to pass the list of employers on to HMRC.
But he added: "This is only the start and a lot more needs to be done."
The details of 100 companies accused of breaking the law by using unpaid interns in paid roles have been handed to HM Revenue and Customs (HRMC) by Employment Minister Jo Swinson.
Ms Swinson told Intern Aware that its claims about unnamed employers broke the law could be used as intelligence by officials at HMRC.
In a letter to the campaign group, she said: "I would like to take this opportunity to thank Intern Aware for their help and continued support on this issue.
"The list of employers that you provided will be treated as intelligence by HMRC. Intelligence forms part of the risk process by helping to identify sectors where there is a higher likelihood of non-compliance."