The Philip Lee Guide to: Internships

Posted in : The Employment Law Cheat Sheet (by Philip Lee) on 28 October 2021
Patrick Walshe
Philip Lee
Issues covered: Internships; Employee Status

What is an Intern?

"Intern" does not have a defined meaning in employment law as such. Typically, an intern is someone present in the workplace primarily to observe and learn.

However, depending on the circumstances, an intern may actually carry out work – in which case employment law will have some bearing on the relationship in practice.

In what circumstances could an intern be considered an employee?

It is probably worth distinguishing broadly between the two main types of interns in practice:-

  • Interns who unequivocally are only in the workplace to observe/learn (a secondary school student, for example, who visits the workplace in the course of her studies); and
  • Someone, typically

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This article is correct at 28/10/2021

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.

Patrick Walshe
Philip Lee

The main content of this article was provided by Patrick Walshe. Contact telephone number is +353 (0) 1 2373700 or email

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