Schools and higher education establishments are increasingly incorporating training placements (internships) into their educational programmes. It enables pupils or students to discover professional work environments and to acquire their first work experience.
The work to be performed during an internship has a predominantly educational character.
The employer who wishes to take on a trainee must set up an internship contract or an internship agreement (regulated internship).
Who is concerned
The internship contract or agreement is signed by:
- the employer or the internship supervisor that will assist the trainee within the host company;
- the trainee who wishes to do an internship as part of his school programme or a voluntary internship outside of school;
- where applicable, the tutor, i.e. the teacher following up on the student within the school or higher education establishment throughout the internship.
How to proceed
Internship contract or agreement
The employer who wishes to take on a trainee must sign:
- an internship agreement if the internship is part of the trainee's school programme (mandatory internship);
- an internship contract if it is a voluntary internship outside the framework of a teaching establishment.
The teaching establishment or school can generally provide a standard internship agreement form.
Throughout the internship period, the employer must not assign the trainee tasks that require a work output comparable to that of the employer's permanent employees. The internship is designed essentially to give the trainee an opportunity for orientation.
Remuneration and withholding tax
The remuneration of the trainee is not compulsory and is paid at the discretion of the employer. There is no minimum or maximum legal amount.
For a resident trainee on a voluntary internship, the employer is required to apply withholding tax on the remuneration paid. The trainee has the possibility, under certain conditions, to adjust his tax situation at the end of the year by completing an annual adjustment form (or a tax return).
A resident trainee carrying out an internship as part of his school programme (mandatory internship) or a non resident trainee (on a voluntary or mandatory internship) are exempt from income tax on their remuneration paid during the internship period.
To this end, the employer must send an application for exemption from withholding tax concerning the trainee's remuneration to the competent RTS tax office. The request must be submitted on plain paper together with:
- a copy of the trainee's ID card or passport;
- the trainee's address and;
- where necessary, a copy of the school certificate or written confirmation from the teaching establishment certifying that the internship is a mandatory part of the teaching programme.
Where the employer does not submit the request, the trainee has the possibility, under certain conditions, to adjust his tax situation at the end of the year by completing an annual adjustment form (or a tax return).
Registration with Social Security
Regulated internships (stage conventionné ou obligatoire) are prescribed by a teaching establishment and documented through an internship contract countersigned by the teaching establishment. The employer and the trainee may also sign an internship contract dictating the terms of the internship in the hosting company.
Trainees residing in Luxembourg and/or doing an internship prescribed by a Luxembourg teaching establishment
The employer need not register with the Joint Social Security Centre (CCSS) or pay contributions for pupils or students that undertake an internship (remunerated or otherwise):
- either as part of the educational programme of a teaching establishment in Luxembourg;
- or as part of the educational programme of a teaching establishment abroad but where the pupil or student has his legal domicile in Luxembourg;
- or as part of the educational programme of a teaching establishment abroad but where the pupil or student is covered by accident insurance in his country of residence.
These trainees remain covered by the insurance of their parents and/or the establishment.
Trainees residing abroad and doing an internship prescribed by a foreign teaching establishment
Trainees residing abroad generally have accident and health insurance in their country of origin. In principle, the Luxembourg employer does not need to submit an entry declaration for the trainee to the Joint Social Security Centre (Centre commun de la sécurité sociale - CCSS).
The employer must check if the trainee is covered by accident insurance. To that end, he may refer to the internship contract proposed by the foreign teaching establishment or he may ask the trainee to contact the competent institution in his country of origin to get a certificate confirming that he is covered by accident insurance.
Trainees who are not covered by accident insurance in their country of residence are considered as salaried workers. The employer must register the trainee with all social security branches by submitting an entry declaration to the CCSS.
The calculation of the social security contributions is based on the social minimum wage for unskilled workers.
Voluntary internships are not regulated by a teaching establishment.
Trainees doing an internship for maximum 3 months
Persons carrying out an activity for a maximum duration of 3 months per year must only register with the accident insurance within the framework of the activity carried out.
In this case, the professional activity must be occasional, irregular and not last longer than 3 months.
- a person works for 3 months during the holidays and then does a 2-month internship from September to October. That person will only be registered with accident insurance for work during the holidays, but will be registered with all social security branches for the duration of the internship;
- a person does not carry out any professional activity during the year and does a 3-month internship. That person will only be registered with accident insurance for the duration of the internship.
Trainees doing an internship for more than 3 months
Paid and unpaid trainees must be registered with the health insurance fund in the same conditions as a salaried worker, which means with all social security branches.
Social contributions are based on the social minimum wage at the least.