Are interns employees?Much of the time, although they are intended not to be, interns are in fact employees or they have most of the rights associated with a contract of employment. Traditionally work experience has involved students shadowing you or your colleagues for short periods of time but not actually working. Internships (a phrase imported from the United States) have been more formal and have involved proper work, often being undertaken by university students looking to break into a particular area after finishing their studies or even as part of a course of study. Usually interns have been unpaid. There is no legal definition of an intern in the UK. However, although carefully drafted documentation might help avoid an intern falling within the strict legal definition of an employee, much employment-related legislation is drafted in such a way that it will apply to “workers” working on any basis other than as a genuinely self employed individual. I will look at how you should form a contract for interns next week. Related Topic: Working for someone on a self employed basis David Jepps is a member of the Keystone Employment Law team.
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