Newsletter - Adoption of the law introducing a regime of internships for pupils and students

After two years of debate, bill nr. 7265 introducing a regime of internships for pupils and students was eventually adopted by the Luxembourg Parliament on May 20th, 2020.

The main provisions of this new legal framework may be summarized as follows:

Different categories of internships

Students and pupils may perform two different types of internships, i.e. compulsory internships performed during a school curriculum (either with a Luxembourg or a foreign educational establishment) and optional internships aimed at acquiring some professional experience (“practical” internships).

For the purposes of the second category (practical internships), to be considered as “pupils” and “students”, applicants must be either:

(i)    individuals enrolled in a Luxembourg or foreign educational establishment and who regularly follow a course of study, or

(ii)   individuals who hold a Luxembourg secondary school diploma (or an equivalent thereof) or who have successfully completed a first cycle of higher or university education (in which case the entire internship must take place within 12 months of the end of the last school year for which a diploma was awarded).

Falling out of the scope of the new regulation are compulsory internships during vocational training, internships with a view to academic or professional orientation and internships provided for in training courses mandatory to gain access to certain professions governed by law.

Duration

Although at first, bill nr. 7265 stated that the duration of both categories of internships would be limited in time, the law has maintained this requirement only for practical internships.

Indeed, whereas the regulation clearly specifies that practical internships may only last for a maximum period of 6 months with the same employer, appraised over a reference period of 24 months, this rule does not apply to compulsory internships performed during a school curriculum. This being said, educational establishments usually have prerequisites about the duration of their students’ internships, which should de facto prevent any abuse regarding the hiring of interns.

Remuneration

Remuneration rules have also changed along the way, especially with regards to internships performed during a school curriculum, for which remuneration was initially set to be entirely optional and is now mandatory for each internship lasting 4 weeks or more.

Minimum remuneration levels are set as follows:

  Remuneration of compulsory internships Remuneration of practical Internships

Duration < to 4 weeks

Optional Optional
Duration > to 4 weeks 30 % of the social minimum salary for unqualified workers (1)(2)
  • 40 % of the social miminum salary for unqualified workers
  • 40 % of the social miminum salary for qualified workers (2) for interns holding a Luxembourg secondary school diploma or who have successfully completed a first cycle of higher or university education
Duration > to 12 weeks and < to 26 weeks 30 % of the social minimum salary for unqualified workers
  • 75 % of the social miminum salary for unqualified workers
  • 75 % of the social miminum salary for qualified workers (2) for interns holding a Luxembourg secondary school diploma or who have successfully completed a first cycle of higher or university education

(1) A derogation to the mandatory remuneration exists when the educational establishment forbids paid internships.

(2) Social minimum salary for unqualified workers: EUR 2,141.99 per month as of January 1st, 2020.

(3) Social minimum salary for qualified workers: EUR 2,570.39 per month as of January 1st, 2020.

Limitations in the number of practical internships

In its preliminary version, bill nr. 7265 provided that the number of practical internships should be limited to 10 % of the company’s total workforce, with a general cap of 50 interns.

The text adopted by the Parliament maintains the 10 % of the total workforce limit but does not mention the 50 interns cap anymore. Companies having less than 10 employees are limited to 1 internship at all times. All limitations in the number of internships cease to apply each year between July 1st and September 30th.

Common provisions

Both categories of internships are subject to additional rules:

  • All parties involved have to sign an internship agreement that must contain several compulsory particulars.
  • The employer shall assign an internship mentor (“tuteur”) to each intern and keep a register listing all internships.
  • Internships must always serve information, orientation and educational purposes, and interns may never be assigned to tasks requiring the same performance to that of regular employees, nor be used as replacements for absent employees or to face peaks in activity.
  • The Labour Code provisions governing daily and weekly rest, public holidays, annual leave and health and safety in the workplace apply at all times to interns.

The law should be published to the Luxembourg Memorial in the coming days and enter into force a few days after.

Please contact the members of our Employment team should you need any assistance.

Contact us

Marielle Stevenot

Partner, Avocat à la Cour au Barreau de Luxembourg, PwC Legal

Tel: +352 26 48 42 35 13

Alexis Glavasevic

Associate, Avocat à la Cour au Barreau de Luxembourg, PwC Legal

Tel: +352 26 48 42 35 88

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