- Volunteers are not entitled to contracts of employment; however it is always good to have a written volunteering agreement in place
- National Minimum Wage should be received by regular interns with a contract of employment.
- There are some people where the National Minimum Wage is not applicable; students on a UK based eduction course undertaking work experience, a volunteer, someone who is of compulsory school age
The majority of employers who offer work experience placement, offer internships or take on people as a volunteer often assume that they have no employment rights. However this is not always the case and will often depend of the type of work or contract they have.
Work experience is usually someone that spends a limited amount of time with a company to learn about the type of work they undergo and although sometimes they may carry out small tasks they are there as an opportunity to ask questions and learn about the working environment. This type of work experience is usually aimed at students.
An intern is usually a graduate and will undergo placement training as part of their course.
A volunteer is someone who works for a charity or a fundraising body on a voluntary basis. They will have access to training and development opportunities but are likely to receive a role description rather than a job description.
Employment status and the National Minimum Wage
Those people on work experience are usually of school age and would not be entitled to the National Minimum Wage or have any employment rights. However an intern may be entitled to it if they are doing regular work for the employer on an ongoing basis. A student who is on an intern for less than a year will not normally receive the National Minimum Wage.
Volunteers are also not entitled to the National Minimum Wage as they do not get paid to work other than their travelling expenses covered. Volunteers will not have an employment contract but often hold a volunteering agreement with the organisation.