As a number of our clients have recently asked us for assistance with questions around internships, we have gathered some general information that may also assist other organisations who are thinking of taking on interns.

There appear to be no significant statistics available around internship salaries. In most cases minimum wage may be appropriate, depending on the skills set and contribution they will make.

If an intern is hired for a particular project and has niche knowledge of the technology/sector specific skills, the consideration should be how much a contractor or permanent member of staff with a similar skills set would earn and pay the intern a percentage of the salary that is reasonable.

Most of our clients’ internships have generally been paid, along with at least a basic holiday entitlement (20 days plus public holidays) as their remit has fallen under ‘carrying out work of some value.’

Interns generally have a fixed end date as part of their agreement.

Government guideline: Employment rights for interns 

Minimum Wage

In terms of pay, unless the candidate is accepting the internship as part of their studies (work placement) or purely on a volunteer basis, then they should receive the minimum wage, which is based on age. As of January 2017 the current rates for the National Living Wage and the National Minimum Wage are as follows, changing every April.

Year25 and over21 to 2418 to 20Under 18Apprentice
October 2016 (current rate)£7.20£6.95£5.55£4.00£3.40
April 2017£7.50£7.05£5.60£4.05£3.50

Additional Payments

In addition to this, you could choose to provide additional payment for daily expenses such as travel, food or accommodation. This could either be added to the weekly pay, or reimbursed on expenses.

Standard daily subsistence for meals is £5.00/day or £25.00/week

In terms of duration, there is no minimum or maximum time required however this would be agreed before the internship commenced and will need to be stated on the intern agreement.

If the candidate is to be paid, she/he will accrue holidays for the duration of the contract and if she/he does not take the holidays then it would be paid out at the end of the internship.


They would not be entitled to any other benefits (private healthcare, pension etc.) under the terms of an appropriate intern agreement and this does not provide her/him with full employment rights.


We would recommend that you would carry out a background check and take references.

Intern agreement

We recommend you utilise an intern agreement which outlines the terms on which interns will be engaged with your organisation.

Need Help?

Need more assistance with taking on an intern? Take a look our induction checklist here. If you are unsure about the legal requirements speak to the HR experts. Get in touch now by calling +44 (0)20 3751 4422 or email

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