Tuesday, 21 August 2012

Working with interns: things to consider

Internships and other types of work experience provide a great opportunity for people to gain first hand experience of working within an arts organisation or creative business. Host organisations also benefit from such schemes as they gain access to talented individuals. However, such schemes should not be used as an attempt to avoid the regulations that govern the National Minimum Wage.

While there is no legal definition of what an intern is, there is one for a 'worker' and if it is established that the intern satisfies this status they are entitled to be paid at least National Minimum Wage. A 'worker' is defined as anyone who is engaged under a contract (whether that be written or implied) to personally carry out any work or services. The host organisation is also required to pay any tax and national insurance contributions for all 'workers' and employees and failure to do so is a criminal offence.

There are many work based opportunities that internships are not, for example volunteering (which has its own legal definition), work experience or apprenticeships. However, it is important to note that changing the name of an opportunity available to an individual does not change the legal requirement to pay at least National Minimum Wage. If the individual can establish that they have worker status, then they are entitled to be paid at least the the National Minimum Wage.

If you are unsure as to whether your intern, volunteer or work experience placement has worker status, the HMRC have a handy tool to help you check their employment status. Try the Employment Status Indicator tool.

Arts Council England and Creative Choices have published guidelines to help clarify the legal obligations of arts organisations offering internships and Creative Skillset have published guidelines for those working in creative businesses.

Thursday, 9 August 2012

Creative Leicestershire August ebulletin

The Creative Leicestershire August ebulletin is out now. With lots of information and opportunities for people working in the arts and creative industries in Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland.

Click here to see the ebulletin.

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