Internships in companies

Newsletter - November 2015

Pursuant to the legislative amendments of 10 July 2014 pertaining to internships in companies, the implementing decree of 27 November 2014 provided details on the raise in the pay of interns. A new decree dated 26 October 2015 set the number of interns that one company could accept.

A restricted number of interns in a company

The number of interns is now defined, and it varies according to the staffing level of the company involved. The number of interns for which the internship agreement is in effect in a single calendar week in a company is restricted to:

– 15% (rounded up) of the company’s staff, if there are 20 employees or more,
– three (3) interns, if there are fewer than 20 employees.

Some exceptions will be possible where the mandatory internship will be part of the training course leading to the achievement of a technology-related or professional qualification. It will then be the academic authority’s responsibility to define by decree the maximum number of internships, with a limit of:

– 20% of the company’s staff, if there are 30 employees or more,
– five (5) interns, if there are fewer than 30 employees.

These provisions apply to internship agreements entered into on or after 30 October 2015.

Counting the staff

In order to determine the authorised quota of interns, the hosting body shall use the highest count of the staff according to these two calculations:

– the number of people employed on the last day of the calendar month preceding the first day of the internship,
– the average number of people employed over the twelve months preceding the first day of the internship.

A restricted number of interns per tutor

When it comes to the hosting of interns, a company is required to appoint a tutor from among its staff, who will be in charge of supporting the intern. Each tutor will not be allowed to supervise more than three interns at the same time.

Checks and penalties

The checking and penalty measures came into effect on 29 October 2015.


The interns must be recorded in their order of arrival on the single staff register under a special category. These records must be retained for five years, as is the case currently for employees.

Labour department officials will be authorised to obtain a copy of the internship agreement from the teaching institution or the hosting company so that they can check that the provisions of the Education Code are applied in relation to:

– the maximum number of interns in the company,
– the tutoring staff,
– leaves of absence and holidays,
– entitlement to lunch coupons,
– payment for transport expenses,
– working hours and mandatory time off,
– the ban on having interns do any dangerous tasks.

The penalties

The penalties were already set forth in the Law of 10 July 2014, which introduced the possibility for the government to penalise companies that did not comply with the applicable laws and regulations.

The total fine is set at a maximum of two thousand euro (€2,000) per intern affected by the infringement found and a maximum of four thousand euro (€4,000) in the case that a second infringement should occur within one year from the reporting date of the first fine.

The decree from 26 October 2015 makes the hosting body (rather than the teaching institution) responsible for paying such a fine.

We are entirely available if you have any further queries about the issues discussed in this newsletter or about any other accounting, tax, social security or law related topic.

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