Days off for Erasmus interns?

Days off for Erasmus interns?

day off as an intern image

Asking for days off during your internship abroad might be tricky:  Is it even appropriate to do so? May such a move be frowned upon by your colleagues? Or should you put your “confidence pants” on and ask for vacation if you really feel like taking it?

Training Experience has researched this question for you and here is what we found:


Consider the country you go to

The internship regulations can vary significantly depending on the country.  According to the Spanish law, for instance, an internship does not result into any employment obligations that have to be carried out by trainees, nor does it entitle trainees to enjoy the employment benefits (Real Decreto 592/2014, 11 July Article 2, point 3).  That is, if a trainee is not considered an employee, he or she cannot receive the same entitlements, including the vacation days.

 In Germany, on the contrary, an intern is entitled to have at least 2  days off a month in agreement with Berufsbildungsgesetz (BBiG, §§ 26, 17). And if you are going to the UK, where the law on internships does not say anything explicitly about your vacation entitlement, it is all about the status that you have in the company.  In case you have a “worker” status, that is you are promised a contract of employment after an internship, you have the right for 5.6 weeks’ paid annual leave.

As education and training is the responsibility of the EU Member States, the EU institutions play a rather supportive role and recommend the member states to ensure  that «the rights and working conditions of trainees, including limits to maximum weekly working time, minimum daily and weekly rest periods and, where applicable, minimum holiday entitlements, are respected”.  However, there is no Europe-wide regulation on days off for trainees.


Check your contract

With the purpose of improving the quality of internships; the EU has issued some recommendations on a Quality Framework of Traineeship. [1] According to it, all traineeships have to be based on a written agreement between the trainee and the traineeship provider.
This agreement has to indicate:

  • educational objectives;
  • duration;
  • the working conditions;
  • whether an allowance or compensation is provided;
  • the rights and obligations of the parties.

So, in case you are not sure about the internship regulations in the country you are going, the first and most important document you should refer to is your internship contract.  Reading through it is an essential step before starting your internship as you need to know what you are getting into.  As we already mentioned above, the “holidays and leave” section of your contract will depend on the country. The information that this section should include is:

  • How many days off you are entitled to have;
  • Whether there are any special regulations for taking your days off or carrying them to the next month\year.

Where to seek for assistance?

Sad as it is, working culture and legal issues might be confusing sometimes. To ask or not to ask for a day off is always your personal decision. Remember that a good work-life balance is essential for a  successful professional life in the long run. The good news is that Training Experience is always there to help! TX is a platform that has been supporting trainees for years by finding a placement, helping to apply for funding and counseling trainees on the legal issues.  As our main value is fostering students´ mobility to gain professional experiences abroad, our services are completely free for students.

If you are interested in doing an internship abroad, don´t hesitate to contact us!
We are here for your questions and can help you find your perfect opportunity without any financial commitments.

Learn more here and read more of our articles here.