Posted on: 12 June 2019

Extra help for your business

It’s that time of year when high school or university students will be finishing their studies, as they complete their exams. Some of them may be looking for some extra work experience over the summer holidays whilst they have some spare time, so now is a great time to be looking to take on an intern.

How an internship can help your business

An internship can be paid or unpaid, and can last anywhere between a month to 6 months, depending on the needs of your business. If your intern is classed as a worker then they are usually due the national minimum wage. However student internships are sometimes called work experience or work placement, these terms have no legal status, to find out more visit the website. Your intern could work as a full time member of staff over the holidays, and will gain valuable experience from your industry.  

Depending on the age or experience of your intern, you can give them a variety of tasks to complete, to benefit your business. Inexperienced interns could do tasks such as basic but important administrative tasks, which will give them an introduction to a working environment.  More experienced interns could be given responsibilities which may not exist in your current business model, such as internal communications.

You could also use your intern to test processes in your company to make sure that they work, without the user knowing much about the process. You could also allow an intern to create some content for your business’ social media channels to give them some experience in digital marketing.

How to take on an intern

The process of taking on an intern should be the same as taking on any other employee. This will give your intern experience of applying for a real job, but it will also ensure that your intern is right for your business.

The main difference will be how you find your intern. If you are actively looking for an intern, you could advertise in universities or get in touch with school career advisors.

Before you take on an intern, you should be aware of the rules regarding workers’ rights, which are outlined on the Government website. Your intern will be classed as a worker, volunteer or employee. 

A volunteer is the most likely type of intern you will take on for summer work. They don’t need to be paid and will not have the same rights as an employee or worker. You will still need to prepare some information for your volunteer, such as how much support and training they will receive, whether or not they’re covered under your employers’ liability or public liability insurance, health and safety arrangements and expenses that they can claim for should it be required.

A worker will have a contract, either written or verbal, and will work in exchange for a reward, which could be a promise for future work or a full time contract. However, they will have the same employment rights as any other worker, which means they must be paid the national minimum wage, be protected against unlawful deductions from their wage, receive holiday or sick allowances and other employee rights. However, they will also need to behave in a manner fitting of an employee, turning up for work on time and working for your business, rather than on behalf of their own limited company.

Finally, you may have an intern that you class as an employee, who will be working under an employment contract, which will outline conditions, rights, responsibilities and duties, as opposed to a worker, whose contract may have looser terms.

Business insurance with Premierline

If you decide to take on an intern, by law you must have employers’ liability insurance, if you don’t already do so. Employers’ liability is designed to protect you against a claim made by an employee who may be injured whilst carrying out their work duties.

You should also consider Public Liability insurance for your company, which can cover you if someone is injured or their property is damaged whilst visiting your premises. Equally, if you and/or your intern are visiting a customer and injure them or cause damage to their property, Public Liability insurance cover can offer you the protection you need. For other business insurance needs, get in touch with an insurance professional at Premierline, who can assess your business insurance needs and find the perfect insurance policy to cover your business.

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