Guidance to clarify when individuals performing work experience, including interns, are entitled to the national minimum wage has been published. It is important to note that the right to be paid the national minimum wage depends on whether or not the individual is defined as a “worker” or not, it is not dependent upon job title.
Not all work experience/internship opportunities should attract payment, but the Government is clear that those who are entitled to the national minimum wage should receive it. All employers who offer, or are considering offering, work experience or internships should therefore consider entitlement to the national minimum wage carefully. Business Link and DirectGov each have advice on the payment of the national minimum wage for work experience staff. The updated guidance includes a worker checklist which outlines the types of things employers should take into account when considering whether a work experience participant/intern is entitled to be paid at least the national minimum wage.
If you are an employer and you have work experience students or interns, this is a very important piece of guidance. If you would like more detailed information on this subject please give one of us a call on 01733 371180 and we will be happy to help.