As an employer we are keen to offer volunteering opportunities and/or internships to individuals who would like to gain experience or an insight into the work that we do. However, how do we ensure they do not become classified as a ‘worker’ if we ask them to do or help with specific tasks which we feel would add value to their skill set, but they may see as being asked to do work? Is there any guidance to assess when the line of being a worker is crossed?

Posted in : First Tuesday Q&A ROI on 7 October 2014
Elaine Mettler
Arthur Cox
Issues covered:

In order to ensure interns do not become classified as workers when carrying out work during an internship programme, it is important that a written internship agreement is entered into between the intern and the host company confirming the terms that are agreed and that shall apply. In particular it is recommended to:

1. clearly set out the activities that will be carried out by the intern and the precise objectives that the internship seeks to fulfil (i.e. a structured work plan) and to avoid ambiguity.

2. describe the work the intern will be carrying out as "work experience" and make sure this term is clearly defined. When defining work experience it is advisable to include that it is

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Back to Q&A's This article is correct at 02/09/2015

The information in this article is provided as part of Legal-Island's Employment Law Hub. We regret we are not able to respond to requests for specific legal or HR queries and recommend that professional advice is obtained before relying on information supplied anywhere within this article.

Elaine Mettler
Arthur Cox

The main content of this article was provided by Elaine Mettler. Contact telephone number is +353 1 618 0000 or email

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