Internship: Holidays & Vacations

Internship: Holidays & Vacations

All students worry about their vacations after having been working and studying for more than six months, but it is not necessary for companies to give vacations. read more about it.

About internships and vacations:

Is the employer obligated to give vacations to the trainees? What does the Spanish law say? Is it optional? 

We are not talking about an employment relationship signed with a working contract between employer and employee, even if it is an internship, but the company must pay social security contributions when they are remunerated.

In Spain, the internships for students are regulated by Royal Decree 592/2014, of July 11. In Article 2, point 3, this law states:

«Given the formative nature of external academic internships, their performance shall not derive, in any case, obligations inherent to an employment relationship, nor may their content lead to the substitution of the labor provision inherent to jobs.»

In other words: the taxes are paid if they are remunerated, but trainees do not have the same rights as workers. It also follows that they are not entitled to vacation time either. But, Article 9 of this law describes the rights and duties of trainees. In this article 9, in its point «d», the law states:

«During the realization of external academic internship, students shall be entitled to receive, in cases where so stipulated, the economic contribution of the collaborating entity, in the concept of bag or study aid».

Does an intern have a vacations? EU Recommendations

EU recommendations:

Well, no, the law has not told us anything we did not know. Whether or not an intern is paid for his or her work depends on what the company says. That’s the way things are: interns are not entitled to unemployment benefits. And whether they get paid is left to their own discretion.

According to the report The experience of traineeships in the EU, by the European Commission, «61% of trainees in Spain are unpaid«.

But, since it is understood that internships are not the same as an employment relation, the answer is easy to deduce: No, interns are not entitled to vacation. It is another thing if the company wants to grant them. However, the employer is under no obligation to do so.

The European Union recognizes that it is not mandatory to give vacation time to trainees. But it does recommend that they get the rest they deserve. In other words, that their working days do not exceed the hours dictated by law (40 hours per week in Spain). And, as the Workers’ Statute states, there should be a minimum weekly rest period.

So I can’t take a trip to see my family in my home country, and I can’t ask for a few days off to visit the host country?

Talk to your tutors several weeks in advance:

If these days fit in with the company’s work schedule, do not interfere with the hours established in the learning agreement, probably you will have the consent of the company and the university.

Does an intern have a vacation? TX and EU Recommendations

TX recommends:

From Training Experience (TX) we recommend that trainees have the same schedules as their mentors, and also that they take advantage of the holidays established in the company’s work calendar (local, regional and national days off).

In addition and although it is not stated by learning agreement, understanding that trainees are also students and that they have academic obligations: we recommend that for exam preparation and academic tasks the company gives some days off for these cases, as long as they do not exceed 1.5 days per month.


Does an intern have a vacations? TX and EU Recommendations