The Status of Trainees

The Status of Trainees

The Social Dialogue Round Table recently met with the main representatives of trade unions and employers’ organisations: the General Workers’ Union (UGT), Workers’ Commissions (CCOO), the Spanish Confederation of Business Organisations (CEOE) and the Spanish Confederation of Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (CEPYME) to undertake the task of regulating the Statute for Trainees (CEPYME) for the first time in Spain.

The creation of this Statute was included in the Labour Reform approved last December, which established that the dialogue for its development should be addressed in a period of less than six months from the entry into force of the law.

To date, there is no specific regulation for interns that sets out the minimum conditions that all non-work placements must fulfil in terms of support, cure and content. However, there does exist Royal Decree 592/2014, of 11 July, which regulates external academic internships for university students, but the Government considers them insufficient to protect these workers and avoid bad practices such as that of the false intern as it does not address issues that the intern’s statute is expected to do, such as security affiliation or economic compensation.

Therefore, the Statute will aim to establish new horizons for trainees, improving both working and training conditions within companies. In addition, the Statute intends to tackle the compensation of expenses (in terms of transport or material to be used) for trainees and interns. In this way, the government intends to make companies bear part of the day-to-day costs.

Other proposals on the table in the forum on the Statute are: the end of unpaid tasks that have nothing to do with the training, eight-hour working days without supervision, symbolic pay or the obligation to sign up for new courses in order to be able to renew the traineeship agreement and thus maintain a minimum income.

The aim of this regulation is to put an end to the fraud that often surrounds internships. This is why this law will include a catalogue of rights addressed in the social dialogue.

This type of regulation already exists in other European countries such as France, although not many of them have tackled it, which is why Spain would be at the forefront of extending collective labour rights.