Thank you for contacting us.
We will get back to you as soon as possible.

Contact us


You acknowledge that by submitting your details via this page, you consent to us processing your personal data in accordance with our privacy policy.

The dangers of internship

The dangers of internship

As the summer draws to a close and interns go back to college, it's worth highlighting a potential problem with the internship concept.

The pure form of internship does not involve any payment (save perhaps for expenses) and is focussed wholly on learning and work experience rather than the provision of any services to the business.  In that form where any work is voluntary, the intern does not acquire any employment rights and it is even questionable whether a contract of any sort exists; either party can walk away at will.

The problem arises where the business pays the intern, who in return performs services.  Internships are sometimes also lengthy, extending beyond the summer months.  In that form, it can be said that the relationship is no different to an employment relationship.  And as such, the intern could argue that they acquire employment rights and are entitled to statutory sick pay and holidays.  In the unlikely event that the internship lasts for 2 years, they would also acquire unfair dismissal rights.  If you are paying an intern, you must also comply with the National Minimum Wage and Living Wage obligations.

So when preparing an internship agreement, it is important to stress the voluntary and learning dimension and to set out what is intended in relation to the intern's development.  But however we dress up the situation, there is always the danger that a tribunal could find that the intern is an employee being paid for the provision of services and that the learning aspect is incidental to that.  As ever, when we are considering the thorny employment status issue, the contract is only the start of the analysis.

For specific advice on Employment law, please contact Joint Senior Partner and Head of Employment, Richard Gvero, on 01992 300333 or richard.gvero@longmores.law.

 

Please note the contents of this blog are given for information only and must not be relied upon. Legal advice should always be sought in relation to specific circumstances. 

 

Protecting and Enforcing your Intellectual Property (Tuesday 18 June 2019)
18 Jun 2019 - posted in Events

Longmores Solicitors are, in collaboration with Hertfordshire Chamber of Commerce, invite you to this breakfast seminar on the subject of Intellectual Property, the last in...

Read more
Keep It In The Family (Friday 14 June 2019)
14 Jun 2019 - posted in Events

Are you thinking about updating your will or worried about inheritance tax? Longmores are holding a free seminar on powers of attorney, care home fees...

Read more
How To Beat Your Competition by Leveraging Your IP Assets - Part 2 (Friday 17 May 2019)
17 May 2019 - posted in Events

Longmores Solicitors are, in collaboration with Hertfordshire Chamber of Commerce, invite you to this breakfast seminar on the subject of Intellectual Property, the second of...

Read more