The Government will limit the number of interns based on the size of the company

Two young students. / ARCHIVE

It also establishes a minimum amount to compensate "all expenses" incurred and the right to vacations and "all services" enjoyed by other company workers, such as catering or parking.

Lucia Palacios

The Government has already put a proposal on the social dialogue table on what the new norm should be like to regulate the training practices carried out by students in companies and organizations and that will establish the compulsory contribution for all. It has done so within the six-month period that had been given in the additional provision that was included in the labor reform to implement the new Scholarship Holder Statute.

Despite the fact that it is a first draft, which does not go into detail and includes only the general lines that the new legislation must incorporate, the Ministry of Labor has specified one of the measures that it intends to implement: that of limiting the number of interns that can exist simultaneously in a company, something that the law does not limit now, although there are collective agreements that do limit it. For this, a table has been established based on the size of the company. Thus, the smallest businesses, those that employ a maximum of ten workers, can only have one intern at a time; those between 11 and 30, two; companies with a workforce of between 31 and 59 people, three, and from 60 employees, the quota of interns may not exceed 5% of the workforce, according to the draft of the royal decree to which this newspaper has had access.

The Executive justifies this prohibition to achieve “adequate tutoring in the development of their practical training activity in the company. In fact, the draft royal decree also specifies that "no company tutor may be assigned, simultaneously, more than five people in practical training."

Limiting the number of interns is one of the demands that the unions also defend and, in fact, the CCOO has already presented its proposal to regulate non-labour practices and includes this measure, although in a more lax way than the Government. The organization led by Unai Sordo increases the maximum number of interns in companies with up to 20 workers to three, to five in companies with 21 to 50 workers, and in those with more than 50, negotiations must be carried out with the works council, without ever being able to exceed 15% of the workforce. In addition, they see it necessary to make some kind of exception for rural areas.

On the contrary, the employers do not see these limits with good eyes and they expressed in the meeting held "certain reluctance" to this measure, as sources close to the negotiation pointed out to this newspaper.

Right to vacation

The rest of the questions he raises are left very open, but he does make clear his intention to definitively put an end to the free work of these practices, something that is very common today. To do this, it will force companies to pay "all expenses" that the development of work activity causes to students, although it will not necessarily require that there be a minimum wage for this type of contract, although there may be agreements that this is the case. be picked up

Specifically, the Executive advocates establishing a “sufficient minimum amount” to compensate all the expenses incurred by the person undergoing practical training in the company, such as travel or maintenance expenses. "This compensation will not be compatible with the receipt of other scholarships or grants that include the same concepts," according to the text.

Although it leaves the amount of this minimum remuneration up in the air, CC OO has already launched a proposal and defends that the salary of between 400,000 and 500,000 interns that there may be in Spain is not less than 50% of the Public Indicator of Income for Multiple Effects (IPREM), which would place it in 2022 at a monthly minimum of 289.51 euros.

In addition, the Executive advocates compensating them for all the expenses that the development of these practices may entail, such as travel or maintenance expenses. "This compensation will not be compatible with the receipt of other scholarships or grants that include the same concepts," according to the text.

In turn, the new law will recognize the right to vacations and breaks applied by the company, as well as all the services available to the workers where the internships are carried out, such as restaurants, rest areas and car parks.

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