What is an Internship Agreement?
An Internship Agreement is a contract between an employer and an intern, which sets out the rights, responsibilities, and duties of both parties during an internship. Internship Agreements form the basis of the legal relationship between the employer and the intern for the duration of the internship. This Agreement is designed to be used for a paid internship, where the intern will be employed for a fixed period of time.
This document is GDPR compliant.
When should I use an Internship Agreement?
Use this Internship Agreement:
when you want to employ an intern
for a paid internship that will last for a fixed period of time
when you want a straightforward Agreement that clarifies the basic terms of the internship
if you are based in England, Wales or Scotland
- This Agreement is made on the date of the last signature below.
(the Employer, we or us); and
of , (the Intern or you).
This document sets out your terms and conditions of employment and contains the written particulars of your employment as required under section 1 of the Employment Rights Act 1996.
- Your employer is . We agree to employ you in the capacity of from .
- Your normal workplace is , . Your job may involve some business travel or temporarily working at other locations.
- All the terms of your employment are in this contract. If there is any inconsistency between this contract and any other information we sent you then this contract will prevail.
- is the date on which your employment starts for legal purposes.
- Your employment will last for .
- is the date on which your employment ends for legal purposes.
- Your duties are those that you will be carrying out during your internship. You must take on reasonable additional or different duties when we ask you, to meet our reasonable business needs.
- You must be allowed to work in the UK to be employed by us and you must inform us immediately if this is not the case. We can end your employment without notice or compensation if you lose or lack permission to work in the UK.
- You can only work for someone else or hold another business interest if we give you advance written agreement. If you break this rule, we can dismiss you without notice or payment.
- We can suspend you for a reasonable length of time in the circumstances, to carry out a disciplinary investigation or if we have another reasonable basis for suspension.
Pay and Expenses
- We will pay you £ per .
- Payment will be by automated bank transfer or another method agreed between us each .
- We can deduct any money that you may owe us from your pay or other payments due to you.
Hours of Work
- You must work reasonable additional hours to meet our business requirements without additional payment.
- Our holiday year begins on . You are entitled to days holiday per holiday year at your normal basic pay. In the holiday year(s) in which your employment starts and ends, one-twelfth of your annual holiday entitlement will accrue for each full month of employment.
- You must take your holidays on dates that are convenient to us and that we agree in writing in advance. You should give us as much notice as you can of your wish to take holiday on a particular date giving notice of at least double the length of time you wish to take on holiday in one go. We may require you to take holiday on specific days as notified to you.
- You must tell your immediate supervisor as soon as reasonably practicable if you can't come to work on any working day, and explain the reason for your absence.
- If you are off sick for three days or less in a row, you must complete a self-certification form. If you are off sick for seven consecutive days or longer, you must give us medical certificates covering the whole period (except the first seven days).
- You must undergo a medical examination by our nominated doctor if we ask you to. We can see any report the doctor writes and discuss the contents with them. We can postpone your return to work following sickness absence until a doctor confirms that you are fit to work.
- During sickness absence, we will pay you Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) as long as you satisfy the relevant requirements. For the purposes of SSP, the agreed qualifying days are your normal days of work as specified in this Agreement.
- If your sickness absence is the fault of a third party and you can recover damages from that party you should notify us. If there are any claims or settlements you should keep us informed and pay us back any sum recovered from the third party to compensate you for lost earnings, which you have been paid for by us.
- We have the right to terminate your employment as set out in this agreement even if this means you lose the right to sickness or other benefits.
- Your employment is not affected by any collective agreement.
Pension and Other Benefits
- There is currently no entitlement to pension benefits in relation to your employment, but we will provide such pension arrangements as are required by law.
- We will process personal data and sensitive personal data ('special categories of personal data') about you in accordance with applicable laws and our Data Protection Policy and Data Protection Privacy Notice where relevant.
- ‘Personal data’ includes references, personal records, emails containing personal details, addresses and details of contractual benefits.
- 'Sensitive personal data' includes information about:
- your health, to monitor sick leave and take decisions about your fitness for work
- your racial or ethnic origin or religious or similar information in order to monitor compliance with equal opportunities legislation
- You will comply with your obligations under our relevant data protection policies.
- We may monitor staff in accordance with our policy on communications and equipment available from your supervisor or HR representative.
- We will process your data in accordance with applicable laws specifically to:
- meet our obligations under your internship contract; and
- ensure that we are complying with our legal obligations.
- In other cases, we have a legitimate interest in processing your data before, during and after the end of the employment relationship.
- The Employer may transfer personal data and sensitive personal data outside the UK or European Economic Area in accordance with applicable laws.
- The Intern shall only process the personal information on the written instructions of the Employer as set out in this Agreement or any other document agreed by the parties in writing.
- Your employment is for a fixed term. Unless ended earlier as specified elsewhere in this Agreement, your employment will automatically end on without the need for notice.
- We can terminate your employment without notice or payment for your notice period:
- if you commit any act or omission that we think is gross misconduct; or
- if you seriously breach your employment obligations (including under this Agreement); or
- if you do not have the right to work in the United Kingdom; or
- in any other situation that we have said allows us to do this (including in this Agreement or any handbook or written policy).
- For the purposes of this Agreement:
Associated Employer has the meaning given by the Employment Rights Act 1996;
Confidential Information means any information disclosed by or on behalf of the Employer (or any Group Business) to the Intern during their employment that at the time of disclosure (whether in writing, electronic or digital form, verbally or by inspection of documents, computer systems or sites or pursuant to discussions or by any other means or other forms and whether directly or indirectly) is confidential in nature or may reasonably be considered to be commercially sensitive, and which relates to the business and affairs of the Employer (or any Group Business) including but not limited to: (a) all Employment IPRs (b) all Employment Inventions and (c) all analyses, compilations, studies and other documents prepared by the Intern which contain or otherwise reflect or are generated from the information referred to above.
Employment IPRs means Intellectual Property Rights you create in the course of your employment with us (whether or not during working hours or using our premises or resources) that:
relate to any part of (or demonstrably anticipated business of) the Employer or any Group Business; or
are reasonably capable of being used by the Employer or in any part of a Group Business.
Employment Inventions means any Invention which is made wholly or partially by you at any time during the course of your:
normal duties; or
duties specifically assigned to you, if those duties are such, that an Invention might reasonably be an expected result (whether or not during working hours or using our premises or resources, and whether or not recorded in material form).
Group Business means any business owned or operated by us or an Associated Employer or all of those businesses together, as the context allows;
Intellectual Property Rights means without limitation all existing or future intellectual and industrial property rights, anywhere in the world including any Invention, patent, utility model right, copyright and related right, trade mark, trade name, internet domain name, design right, design, service marks, trade secret, database right, topography right, right in get-up, right in goodwill or to sue for passing off and any other right of a similar nature, whether registered (or capable of registration) and the right to apply for any of these; and
Inventions mean without limitation, inventions, ideas and improvements, whether or not patentable and whether or not recorded in any medium.
- During your employment, you may have access to Confidential Information concerning us, and our business. During and after your employment, you must not use or disclose or allow anyone else to use or disclose any of our Confidential Information, except:
- as necessary to perform your duties for us, properly; or
- with our consent; or
- as required by law or ordered by a court that has jurisdiction; or
- to make a protected disclosure within the meaning of Section 43A of the Employment Rights Act 1996.
- As soon as your employment ends, however that happens, or earlier if we request it, you must:
- return to us, all property that you have or control that belongs to us or relates to our business including but not limited to all documents and any car, keys, swipe cards, laptops and mobile phones; and
- delete any such property and Confidential Information from any electronic device which belongs to you.
- You agree that if you do not comply with this clause, damages would not be an adequate remedy and we can apply for an injunction to prevent any (further) breach, without prejudice to any other remedy that we might pursue, including but not limited to claiming damages.
- You acknowledge that:
all Employment IPRs, Employment Inventions and works embodying them shall be owned automatically and absolutely by the Employer to the fullest extent permitted by law. To the extent that they are not automatically owned by the Employer, you hold them on trust for us; and
because of the nature of your duties and the particular responsibilities arising from the nature of your duties, you have, and shall have at all times while you are employed by us, a special obligation to further the interests of the Employer.
- You agree:
to promptly and on their creation, give us full written details of all Employment Inventions you make wholly or partially during the course of your employment;
at our request, and in any event, on the termination of your employment, to give us all originals and copies of correspondence, documents, papers and records on all media which record or relate to any of the Employment IPRs;
to use your best endeavours to execute all documents and do all acts both during and after your employment by us as may, in the opinion of the Employer, be necessary or desirable to vest the Employment IPRs in the Employer, to register them in the name of the Employer and to protect and maintain the Employment IPRs and the Employment Inventions;
to give us all necessary assistance to enable us to enforce our Intellectual Property Rights against third parties, to defend claims for infringement of third party Intellectual Property Rights and to apply for registration of Intellectual Property Rights, where appropriate throughout the world, and for the full term of those rights;
not to attempt to register any Employment IPR nor patent any Employment Invention unless we request that you do so; and
to keep confidential each Employment Invention unless we have consented to its disclosure in writing.
- You waive all moral rights under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 (and all similar rights in other jurisdictions) which you have or will have in any existing or future works.
- You hereby irrevocably appoint the Employer to be your attorney in your name and on your behalf to execute documents, use your name and do all things which are necessary or desirable for the Employer to obtain for itself or its nominee the full benefit of this section.
- Our policies and procedures will be made available to you upon starting your internship. You must familiarise yourself with and comply with our policies and procedures including any new or amended ones introduced after this Agreement. No policy or procedure is part of your contract of employment, unless the policy or procedure specifically says that it is.
- If you are dissatisfied with any disciplinary decision relating to you (including any decision to dismiss you) then you should notify your immediate supervisor in writing, specifying the grounds for your dissatisfaction.
- If you wish to seek redress for any grievance relating to your employment then you should notify your immediate supervisor in writing, specifying the grounds for your grievance.
Amendment to Terms and Conditions
- We can make reasonable changes to any of the terms of your employment whenever we want to. We will notify you in writing of any change before the date it comes into force.
- Other than dealings in the normal course of business, any notice, request, demand or other communication (collectively Notices) to be given under this Agreement will be deemed to be duly given by either party if:
sent by first class post addressed to the other party at (in the case of a Notice to the Employer) its registered office or place of business for the time being or (in the case of a Notice to you) the address that you have last notified to us; or
given personally to (in the case of a Notice to the Employer) a director, partner, chief executive or equivalent of the Employer or (in the case of a Notice to you) to you; or
sent by electronic mail to the business email address of the chief executive or equivalent in the case of the Employer and your email address as notified in writing to the Employer from time to time.
- Any such Notice will be deemed to have been given:
- if sent by first class post, 48 hours (or, if sent to or from a place outside the United Kingdom, seven days) after the time of posting and, in proving service, it will be sufficient to prove that the envelope containing such Notice was properly addressed, stamped and put in the post;
- if sent by email, 24 hours after sending.
- This Agreement shall be governed by and interpreted according to the law of England and Wales and all disputes arising under the Agreement (including non-contractual disputes or claims) shall be subject to the exclusive jurisdiction of the English and Welsh courts.
Third Party Rights
- No one other than you and us has any rights to enforce any part of this agreement.
About Internship Agreements
Learn more about making your Internship Agreement
How to make an Internship Agreement
Making your Internship Agreement online is simple. Just answer a few questions and Rocket Lawyer will build your document for you. When you have all the information about the intended internship prepared in advance, creating your document is a quick and easy process.
You’ll need the following information:
The employer and the intern
Who is the employer’s signatory, if it’s a company or a partnership? This is the person who will sign the Agreement on the company’s or partnership’s behalf.
What is the intern’s name and address?
What is the intern’s job title?
What are the start and end dates for the internship?
How long is the internship?
Will you include a job description? If so, you’ll need to provide a summary of the intern’s duties.
At which address will the intern work?
Hours of work
Will the intern work regular hours?
If so, at which times will they start and finish work each day? On which days will they work?
If not, how many hours will the intern work per week?
Will the intern have hour-long lunch breaks? If so, will these be paid?
The intern’s entitlements
How much will the intern be paid? How frequently will they be paid?
Will the intern receive overtime pay? If so, how much is overtime pay per hour?
How many days’ holiday (pro rata) is the intern entitled to take? Are bank holidays additional to this or included?
Are there restrictions on the amount of holiday that may be taken at one time (ie a maximum of 1 or 2 weeks)?
Can the intern receive payment in lieu of any untaken holiday entitlement?
What are the dates of the employer’s annual leave year?
Will the intern be eligible for enrollment in a pension scheme? If so:
What is the name of the scheme?
How much will the employer contribute to the scheme (eg 3%)?
Do the statutory minimum notice periods apply or will you specify a longer period?
- Does the employer have a Sickness policy in place?
Common terms in an Internship Agreement
Internship Agreements set out the terms of a paid internship arrangement. To do this, this Internship Agreement template includes the following terms and sections:
This Agreement is made on the date of last signature below, between…
The Agreement starts by clearly identifying the employer and the intern (ie the parties to the Agreement) as well as the date of the Agreement. It also identifies the Agreement’s purpose as setting out the intern’s terms and conditions of employment in a written document in a manner that meets the employer’s obligation to do so under the Employment Rights Act 1996.
This section provides basic information about the internship. For example, identifying the employer and the place of work, required duties, and dates of the internship. Some key terms of the arrangement are also set out, for example, the requirement that the intern is legally allowed to work in the UK and the intern’s obligation to obtain the employer’s permission to also work for somebody else.
Pay and expenses
This section states how much the intern will be paid and how.
Hours of work
The days and hours that the intern should work are set out here, whether regular or irregular. Whether or not overtime worked will be paid at a higher than usual rate is also set out.
Information about the employer’s annual leave year and entitlements is set out here. This section also explains how the intern may take holiday (eg by giving the employer notice equivalent to at least double the length of the intended holiday). If the intern may receive payment in lieu of any unused holiday entitlement, this is also noted.
This section contains provisions relating to what happens if the intern is ill. For example, they should tell their supervisor, should provide a Self-certification form or fit note where necessary, and will receive statutory sick pay (SSP) if eligible. If the employer has a Sickness policy in place, this is also referred to.
It’s stated here that no collective agreements (ie agreements with trade union or staff association representatives) apply to the intern’s employment.
Pension and other benefits
If the intern is eligible to be enrolled in a pension scheme, this section will appear and will explain the auto-enrollment requirement. It will provide information about the employer’s pension scheme, contributions to it, and terms of its management.
If the intern isn’t eligible for the employer’s pension scheme, this will be stated here instead.
This section sets out how the employer will comply with data protection laws (ie rules under the UK General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the Data Protection Act 2018). For example, personal data (ie information about somebody from which they may be identified) will be processed (eg used or stored) in accordance with the employer’s data protection policies.
The intern is also restricted to processing personal data in their internship role only as set out in this Agreement or other written documents.
It’s highlighted here that the internship is to last for a fixed term. This is followed by an explanation of how the Agreement may be ended before the end of the fixed term. For example, specified or statutory notice periods are set out, as are instances in which the employer can end the intern’s employment without notice or payment in lieu of notice (eg in cases of gross misconduct).
This section sets out the intern’s promise not to disclose any of the employer’s confidential information except in specified exceptional circumstances.
This section deals with the ownership of any intellectual property (IP) that’s created or used by the intern in the course of their work. Generally, the employer will own any IP that the intern creates during their employment and the intern should do all things necessary (eg executing documents) to ensure that ownership is properly transferred to the employer. The intern is also required to waive moral rights to any copyrights that arise in their creations.
Moreover, the employer is appointed as an attorney of the intern as far as required to enable the employer to use their rights under this section of the Agreement.
This section explains that the employer’s usual policies and procedures will apply to the intern and how they will do so. It specifically explains how the intern should proceed if they’re unhappy with a disciplinary decision or if they want to raise a grievance.
Amendment to terms and conditions
This section gives the employer the right to make changes to the terms of the intern’s employment, if reasonable. Such changes must be notified to the intern in writing.
This section sets out how any notices or other similar communications that are given under the Agreement should be delivered.
This section states that the legal system of England and Wales or of Scotland must be used to resolve any disputes (ie the Agreement’s jurisdiction).
Third party rights
This section states that third parties (ie not the employer or the intern) are not able to enforce obligations under this Agreement.
The Agreement ends with spaces for the employer and the intern to both sign the contract to make it legally binding.
If you want your Internship Agreement to include further or more detailed provisions, you can edit your document. However, if you do this, you may want a lawyer to review the document for you (or to make the changes for you) to make sure that your modified Internship Agreement complies with all relevant laws and meets your specific needs. Use Rocket Lawyer’s Ask a lawyer service for assistance.
Legal tips for employers
Be aware of your intern’s employment status
Working out whether an individual who works for you is classified as a worker, an employee, a consultant, a volunteer, or a self-employed individual can be a complex matter. The status stated in the contract under which a person works does not conclusively determine what they are under the law. Factors like the regularity of hours worked and whether payment is received determine somebody’s employment status.
Make sure you’re aware of what someone’s status is, as different employment statuses confer different employment rights that employers must uphold. This Internship Contract is designed to form a relationship with an employee or a worker (eg depending on work patterns). To learn more, read Consultants, workers and employees.
Uphold your intern’s rights
As a conscientious and law-abiding employer, it’s important that you uphold interns’ rights, whatever their employment statuses. For example, all workers and employees are entitled to take paid holiday, be paid the National Minimum Wage, and not be discriminated against. A good way to keep track of the rights you must uphold as an employer, and to communicate these to management and staff, is to create a comprehensive suite of employment policies. For more information, read HR policies and procedures and consider using our HR policies checklist. Creating an Employee handbook, containing multiple policies in one document, can be a great way to start.
Understand when to seek advice from a lawyer
In some circumstances, it’s good practice to Ask a lawyer for advice to ensure that you’re complying with the law and that you are well protected from risks. You should consider asking for advice if:
interns will work overseas for more than one month
Interns will be involved in creating intellectual property that is central to your business
you need help determining somebody’s employment status
you want to hire an intern based outside of England, Wales and Scotland
Internship Agreement FAQs
What is included in an Internship Agreement?
This Internship Agreement template covers:
Why do I need an Internship Agreement?
If you are hiring an intern to carry out work on an employment basis (eg to do more than just unpaid work shadowing (ie accompanying and observing somebody as they perform their job)), you will need a written agreement to confirm the terms of the internship. An Internship Agreement, signed by an employer and an intern, will ensure that the relationship that has been agreed upon is legally binding and will help identify the legal rights of both parties. This document can help resolve any disputes that may arise during the course of the internship.
If your intern is undertaking unpaid work experience (eg work shadowing), you should make an Unpaid internship agreement instead.
What should I pay an intern?
An intern must be paid if they’re classified as a worker because they carry out tasks that go beyond work-shadowing or beyond the scope of volunteering in another way. An intern will also be considered a worker if they carry out their internship with the promise of future employment. Workers must be paid at least the National Minimum Wage (unless an exception applies).
Employers cannot avoid paying the National Minimum Wage to an intern simply by stating in their Internship Agreement that the intern is not a worker - it’s the reality of the internship relationship that matters. For more information, read Consultants, workers and employees and Pay and benefits.
How many hours can an intern legally be required to work?
This Internship Agreement allows you to specify regular or irregular hours of work for an intern. For example, 9 am - 5 pm Monday - Friday, or a certain number of hours per week at times to be agreed upon.
It is important to ensure that an intern is not working more than 48 hours per week, averaged over 17 weeks. This is the legal maximum set by The Working Time Regulations 1998. The 48-hour working week limit includes work performed for other employers. If an intern works at or close to the maximum, ask them if they are willing to opt out of the 48-hour limit. If not, you must take reasonable steps to ensure that the intern’s working time (across all employers) stays under the limit. For more information read, How to opt-out staff from the 48 hour week.
Employees also must have at least 11 hours between finishing work and starting their next day/shift, and they must either have 24 hours' continuous rest every 7 days or 48 hours’ continuous rest every 14 days.
Is there a minimum holiday entitlement set by law?
Interns that are classed as workers are legally entitled to at least 5.6 weeks of paid holiday each year. For an intern working 5 days a week (ie full-time), this equates to 28 days a year. If an internship only lasts for 6 months, this will equate to at least 14 days of holiday. This can be inclusive or exclusive of bank and public holidays. Employers can agree to give their workers a greater holiday allowance. For more information, read Employee holidays.
It is a good idea for employers to adopt an Annual leave policy detailing matters relating to employee holidays.
Is an employer legally required to make pension provisions?
All employers are required by law to provide a workplace pension for certain workers. This requirement is known as automatic enrolment (or the auto-enrolment duty) and it applies to all staff who:
are aged between 22 and the State Pension age
earn at least £10,000 per year
work in the UK, and
are classed as workers or employees
It is possible to postpone pension enrolment for the first 3 months of somebody’s employment. To do this, an employer must write to the worker (eg intern) within the first 6 weeks of their postponement (ie the first 6 weeks of their internship) to inform them that they intend to postpone pension enrolment. An internship lasting less than 3 months may not require any pension contributions. For more information on pension postponement, read the Pensions Regulator’s guidelines.
Employers must pay the equivalent of at least 3% of an employee’s qualifying earnings (ie their salary before tax) into the employee’s workplace pension. The employer must also deduct contributions of at least 5% from the employee’s pay. If these levels of pension contribution are already made through an existing workplace pension scheme you’ve arranged, there is no need to take any action, as the requirements of auto-enrolment will be fulfilled.
For more information, read Pensions, auto-enrolment and salary sacrifice.
How long should a notice period be?
The minimum permissible notice period (ie the amount of notice that a worker or their employer must give to end a worker’s contract) is one week if the worker has been working for the employer for between one month and 2 years.
It is common to say that one week's notice will apply during the probationary period too. Until one month’s service, it is lawful to provide for termination by the employer without notice, but this is unusual.
This Internship Agreement allows the applicable notice period to be specified, although the employer cannot be allowed to give an intern less than the statutory minimum notice period.