Combating abuse of traineeship and social welfare fraud: Individual employment relations - Q2 2014 (EurWORK topical update)

18 február 2015


Action to prevent abuse of traineeships

France:  New rules governing traineeships

Action is being taken at Member State level to prevent the abuse of traineeships by employers. In France, a proposed law tabled on 26 JuRead more

Action to prevent abuse of traineeships

France:  New rules governing traineeships

Action is being taken at Member State level to prevent the abuse of traineeships by employers. In France, a proposed law tabled on 26 June (in French) defines a new set of rules governing traineeships aimed at protecting young people from exploitation.

To make it easier for labour inspectors to detect fraudulent traineeships, the bill requires companies to enter in their staff register each trainee’s name, their date of arrival and the name of their school. No more than 10% of a company’s workers may be trainees. Trainees’ working conditions are to be improved, covered by the same rules as permanent workers in terms of maximum working hours and rest periods. Trainees will also receive the same benefits, including reimbursed transport costs and equal access to staff restaurants or company food stamps. The six-month maximum period for a traineeship remains unchanged, but all exceptions allowing for longer periods are removed. Trainees’ financial compensation is to be raised. If the traineeship lasts for at least two months, the compensation (currently €436 a month) will be gradually increased by 15%.

Austria: Checklists for trainees introduced

Just before the summer holidays, a period when thousands of young people are engaged in voluntary and mandatory traineeships, the Austrian Family Minister Sophie Karmasin published various ‘checklists’ for traineeships. These are targeted at young people (up to the age of 19), their parents, their schools and the companies providing their traineeships. The checklists were commissioned by the Federal Ministry for Family and Youth (BMFJ) and in cooperation between the Austrian Youth Information Centres, the Austrian National Youth Council, the Federal Ministry of Labour, Social Affairs and Consumer Protection (BMASK), the centre of competence for Open Youth Work in Austria (bOJA), and the provincial school inspectorate for the province of Styria.

The checklists provide information on the rights of trainees and all those concerned with their employment. However, the provision of checklists by the youth ministry without prior consultation was criticised by the Union for Salaried Employees, Journalists and Graphical Workers (GPA-djp). The union called for greater engagement between the minister and the companies offering traineeships which should be prompted to provide framework conditions for traineeships that comply with current labour law. All traineeships should be treated as regular employment relationships to which all labour law regulations and collective agreements apply (in practice, this is often bypassed).

Measures to combat social welfare benefit fraud

Belgium: Number of fraud cases up by one third

The Belgian Social Information and Investigation Service (SIRS/SIOD) published the results of actions taken against companies in 2013 to tackle social security benefit fraud. The report states that action was taken in 14,570 cases, representing a 31% increase compared with 2012. Of these cases, 35% involved people working illegally. Most such cases are in cleaning services, construction or the hotel, restaurant and catering sector.

Slovenia: Union calls for penalties against employers

In April 2014, the Association of Free Trade Unions of Slovenia demanded additional surveillance of companies and enforcement of criminal penalties against employers who are not paying social security contributions for their employees. The tax administration encourages employees to report such cases because formal surveillance processes take a lot of time.

About this article

This article is based mainly on contributions from Eurofound’s network of European correspondents. Further resources on individual employment relations can be obtained from Eurofound’s European Working Conditions Survey (EWCS) and European Company Survey (ECS).

For further information, contact Christian Welz:


Read less
Useful? Interesting? Tell us what you think. Hide comments

Új hozzászólás