What Is ‘work experience’?
In general, Work experience involves a student or current graduate spending a short period of time with an employer meanwhile which he/she has a lucky chance to learn directly about working life. That’s not all; the employer has an opportunity to learn the working environment, often by “shadowing” an employee. Work experience is indeed unpaid save for expenses.
What is an ‘internship’?
There is neither official nor any agreed definition of what an internship or intern is. Yet, interns tend to be graduates or undergraduates in their final year of study who chose to step into a structured programmed of work. Internships contribute to last longer than work experience, usually lasting for months rather than weeks.
Do you have to pay for interns?
In fact, this will depend on what the intern is doing. In case, an intern (or indeed an individual on work experience) is expected to work set hours, accomplish set duties and is actively committing to the company, as disagreed to simply work shadowing, they may be considered as a “worker” and accordingly be entitled to the national minimum wage. They would also be labeled to paid holiday or rest breaks midst the Working Time Regulations.
Other rights to be aware of
Interns may also be secured by discrimination legislation and covered by the company’s health as well as safety obligations.
The Institute’s position
Interior design practices shall make their own decision on whether to hold on interns. However, the institute should be aware of the possible suggestions for doing so in terms of employment law. They shall even try every effort to confirm that any form of internship provided is as profitable as possible. Please click here for the Best Practice Code for High-Quality Internships, upgraded by the Gateways to the Professions Collaboration Forum, a government advisory group.
The IDN recommends that if a practice works on an intern it must have a written agreement ensuring the connection with the intern, along with express terms that could include, amongst other terms, the non-payment or payment of earnings, expenses, confidentiality as well as health and safety. Legal advice must, thus, be sought on the terms and the most suitable form of an internship agreement.
The IDN recommends that every intern is paid at least the minimum income. This statement is only for guidance and specialist legal advice shall be sought on individual cases.