The Law of 4 June 2020 amending the Labour Code and introducing a regime of internships for school pupils and students was published on 5 June 2020 and entered into force on 9 June 2020 (hereinafter the “Law”). The Law applies to all internship agreements concluded from 9 June 2020.
Categories of internship
The Law regulates the terms and conditions of two types of internship agreements:
- Compulsory internships performed during school/university courses in a Luxembourg or foreign educational establishment. In such case, the internship agreement is entered into between the intern, the professional acting as the trainee’s supervisor and the educational establishment.
- Practical internships aimed at acquiring some professional experience. The internship agreement is entered into between the professional acting as the trainee’s supervisor and the intern. Interns are defined as pupils or students who
(a) are enrolled in a Luxembourg or foreign educational establishment and regularly follow a course of study or (b) have successfully completed a first cycle of higher or university education (bachelor). In other words, a student in his/her final year of university education will no longer be able to do a practical internship as he/she is no longer considered as pupil or student under the Law.
The Law does not apply to compulsory internships during professional training, internships with the aim of academic or professional orientation and internships provided for in mandatory training courses with a view to having access to certain professions governed by legal or regulatory provisions.
Duration of the internship
The maximum duration for a practical internship within the same company is limited to six months over a reference period of 24 months. In addition, the entire duration of the practical internship must occur within 12 months after the end of the last school registration which led to the award of one of the diplomas referred to in point ii) above.
These rules do not apply to compulsory internships performed during a school or university curriculum.
An internship agreement must be entered into in writing, whether it is a compulsory internship or a practical internship. The agreement must contain several compulsory particulars:
- the activities assigned to the intern;
- the start and end dates of the internship, its duration and the maximum weekly hours of presence;
- the terms and conditions for authorising absence, in particular to attend a job interview with a potential employer;
- the compensation, if any;
- the appointment of a tutor;
- the potential benefits that the intern may benefit from;
- the social security scheme applying to the intern, including professional hazards insurance; and
- the conditions applying to a unilateral termination or termination by common consent of the internship agreement before the end of the internship.
Appointment of a tutor
A tutor must be assigned to each intern. The tutor is charged with integrating the intern into the company, ensuring a regular follow-up and providing advice and guidance to the intern. For internships of at least 4 weeks, the tutor must issue, at the end of the course, a critical and detailed assessment.
The number of practical internships should be limited to 10 % of the company’s total workforce. In companies with fewer than 10 employees, the maximum is set at one internship. These limitations do not apply during the period from 1 July to 30 September inclusive.
Application of the Labour Code
The Law specifies that the legal provisions relating to working time, weekly rest, statutory holidays, annual leave and health & safety in the workplace stipulated by the Labour Code shall apply to interns.