It is good practice to give some small allowances, also known as stipends, to interns. Thus having opted to bring in some interns into your organization, you need to set aside some funds, to be paying the interns. Otherwise if you don’t give your interns any money, they will be demoralized. You could also be prosecuted under some states’ laws. In any event, by opting not to give your interns any money, you will be sullying your organization’s reputation. Consequently, you may have difficulties attracting good interns in the future, if you are known not to give your interns any money. In the worst case scenario, you may actually have difficulties getting ‘any’ interns to work with you in the future. You therefore shouldn’t view the interns as a free source of labor. Instead, you should view the interns as partners: people with whom you can get into a mutually beneficial relationship with. That is where they would be getting work experience working for you, while you benefit from their labor (and pay them a small stipend for their effort).
There are 3 important questions for you to deal with while paying interns’ stipends, namely:
- The stipend amount: the interns don’t expect to be paid full salaries. Even big companies, like American Airlines, don’t usually pay their interns full salaries. In American Airlines case, for instance, if you go to its HR portal – that is, the Newjetnet aa portal, you will find that the interns are only given small allowances. Still, what you pay to the interns should be enough to cater for their day to day expenses. It should be enough to pay for the food they will be eating, while working for you. It should be enough to pay for the accommodation they will be using, while working for you. It should also be enough cover the travel expenses they incur while going to and from work.
- The stipend payment frequency: here, you have to make a decision as to whether you will be paying the stipends daily, weekly, monthly or on whatever other frequency.
- The stipend payment structure: this is where you make a decision as to whether the stipend is to be a consolidated figure. Or whether it will have components such as a basic pay, a house allowance, a travel allowance… and so on.