A lot of the time, internships are viewed as unpaid work. And this is what most people will consider the difference between an intern and a full-time employee. However, this is not always the case. While unpaid internships are unfortunately still happening, it is still very much possible to earn income during an internship. So, what now is the distinction between the two?
What Is the Point of Internships?
Even when the intern is an actual employee and entitled to a paycheck, their work will still be at a very basic level. This is because interns do not come with a lot of experience from the workplace. Very often, the intern will be in the lowest career level available. For example, most international students who are doing internships for a company are usually interns in the lowest position, which is the entry-level or entry-level management.
The main goal of an internship is to hot seat the intern in the real world of work. This is why they are paid the lowest rate possible, in order to allow them to prove their worth. When they have proven their worth, they will be promoted to a higher position.
In short, the point of an internship is to gain experience, not necessarily to earn money. The more experience you have, the higher the wage you will get. And so, once employees have proven their worth to the company, they will be promoted to higher positions.
If you’re an intern and you have proven your worth, you should be paid what you deserve. If you’re being paid the same salary as a full-time employee, you should be entitled to the same benefits at the least. In any case, if you’re being paid, you should have all the right in the world to be paid appropriately.
When Do Interns Become Full-Time Employees?
An intern will only become a full-time employee when they have proven their worth to the company that they are working for. In some cases, a company will pay interns a salary that is not competitive with other interns. However, the benefit to this is that internships usually last for a limited time.
When the internship ends, the intern will have to move on to a different job. They have no choice but to leave because their time is up. But if the intern has proven their worth, the employer will offer them a full-time position.
What to Do When the Employer Extends the Internship
Unfortunately, employers don’t always have the best interest of their employees in mind. So, they may attempt to extend an internship to keep a good employee on without having to provide them with benefits. But this is against the rights of the intern.
The Fair Work Act 2009 lists a number of things that need to be considered in order to get a full-time employee status. If a company wants to keep an intern on as a full-time employee for a longer period of time, then they will need to offer them benefits that are equal to their current full-time employees. So, it is important to check your rights.
Speaking to an employment lawyer is a good idea if the company is attempting to prevent you from going to a full-time employee.
The main difference is that an intern does not get paid as much as a full-time employee. Further, an intern does not get benefits as a full-time employee does. On the other hand, an intern will get more experience out of it. However, if you have proven your worth, you should be entitled to more than just a paycheck. This is why it is important to check your rights.
For employment legal matters, you can count on Saines Legal to protect your rights. We are an employment lawyer in Brisbane that focus on a tailored approach to our clients’ needs. We are here to help you know your rights and to get the right advice to help manage your workplace concerns. Get in touch with us today!