Internship guidelines for employers looking to hire the right way
Do you know exactly what an internship is and what interns are entitled to? Navigating this tricky area of employment law can be difficult for busy employers, but these guidelines will help you really understand internships.
What is an internship?
If you’re thinking about hiring an intern, it’s best to know exactly what you’re signing up for.
Internships are for young people looking to get their first bit of valuable work experience and try out a role. They’re a great opportunity for employers to test out candidates and for candidates to try out different role types.
While internships usually last anywhere between 1 month and 6, they can also become something more. So if you’re open to hiring a full-time junior employee but want to test out their skills first an internship is a great way to do it.
But it’s really important that you communicate this to your intern in the job description and advert. Whether the role is fixed-term with a clear end date or it could become permanent for the right candidate, it’s best to be open with this.
The possibility that the role could become permanent is very encouraging for juniors and may stop them looking around for a new job once the contract is nearing its end.
We like to say:
This is a 3-month fixed-term internship with the potential to go permanent depending on your performance.
- Be temporary or for a fixed term
- Be entry-level and not require prior experience
- Sit at a suitable level where they don’t involve strategy or managing other employees
- Include a coaching or training element as fresh employees need guidance
- Be conventional employment, not freelancing or contracting
- Always be paid at the National Minimum Wage at minimum. We like to pay our interns the Real Living Wage and suggest you do the same if you can!
What are interns entitled to?
It’s really important to remember that interns are workers and should be entitled to the same rights as any other employee.
- The right to be paid at the National Minimum
- Protection against unlawful salary deductions
- Holiday pay
- Rest breaks
- The ability to opt-out of working more than 48 hours a week
- Protection against discrimination
- Protection for whistleblowing
- Sick, maternity, paternity, adoption and shared parental pay
As we’ve seen in the Uber case, it’s really important that you give your employees everything they’re entitled to.
How do you hire an intern?
Although we hope that these internship guidelines for employers help you get your ducks in a row, our help doesn’t stop there.