Internships for school pupils and students

29 Jun 2018


Dorothée David

Bill on workplace internships for school pupils and students

A Bill designed to regulate internships for school pupils and students was submitted to the Chamber of Deputies on 19 March 2018. A new chapter would therefore be added to the Labour Code, filling an almost complete legal gap on this issue. The main new applicable provisions would be:

  • Internships organised by an educational establishment in Luxembourg or abroad:

This would affect internships that are an integral part of the training in accordance with the course at the educational establishment, organised and overseen by this establishment.

The duration of these internships would be limited to a maximum of 9 months in a 12-month period, unless the establishment or training course specifically stipulates a longer duration. The duration of the internship could be broken up.

If there is no internship agreement organised and defined by the educational establishment, a document containing the required details applicable to practical internships outside the school curriculum (see below) should be signed by the intern (or, if he/she is a minor, his/her legal representative), the internship supervisor and the representative of the educational establishment.

Remuneration for these internships would be optional, unless the educational establishment or a legal, regulatory or contractual provision, specifically stipulates it.

  • Practical internships to gain professional experience:

This would affect internships taking place outside the school curriculum, agreed by a school pupil or student and an internship supervisor. These internships would be aimed at school pupils or students registered with an educational establishment in Luxembourg or abroad who regularly attend an educational course, or individuals whose enrolment at school ended no more than 12 months previously.

The internship could not exceed 12 months in a 24-month period, nor exceed 6 months with the same employer.

An internship agreement should be signed by the intern (or, if he/she is a minor, his/her legal representative) and the internship supervisor, including the following required details: the activities assigned to the intern, the start and end date of the internship, the maximum weekly duration of the intern’s presence, the social protection scheme regime by which he/she is covered, including in particular in terms of accident insurance, the appointment of a tutor, the process for authorising absence, including in particular to go for interviews with potential employers and, if applicable, the remuneration as well as any benefits from which he/she might benefit.

The Bill stipulates that no remuneration would be owed for practical internships lasting no longer than one month. In contrast, minimal remuneration would be owed:

  • for internships lasting for more than 1 month and less than 3 months: at least one third of the minimum social wage for unqualified employees;
  • for internships lasting longer than 3 months: at least half the minimum social wage for unqualified employees.
  • Joint provisions:

The Bill focuses on the fact that internships should provide training, distinguishing it from paid work, and specifically excluding the use of internships to replace absent employees or to deal with temporary increases in workloads.

The number of internships in place in the same company could not exceed 10% of the workforce, and would in any case be limited to 50 interns per company. The internship supervisor should keep a register of internships, which should be accessed at any time by the staff representative committee, and by the ITM by request.

Lastly, the Bill specifies that the legal provisions relating to working time, weekly rest, statutory bank holidays, annual leave and health & safety in the workplace stipulated by the Labour Code would apply to interns.

Bill no. 7265