National Labour Inspectorate: first instructions about the new provisions on extracurricular internships

20 April 2022

In note no. 530 of 21 March 2022, the National Labour Inspectorate (“INL“) has provided some clarifications on extra-curricular internships, particularly the new provisions introduced by Law no. 234/2021 (  “Budget Law 2022“). 

Following the provisions of paragraph 720 of Art. 1 of the Budget Law, the INL states that the internship is an educational path that alternates between study and work, for guidance and vocational training, to improve the match between labour supply and demand. If it is functional to achieving a formally recognised qualification, the internship is defined as curricular.”

Guidelines that Government and the Regions must follow within 180 days from the entry into force of the Budget Law 2022, for drafting and disseminating a new shared agreement on extra-curricular internships, are listed below:

  • revising the regulations on internships which requires the establishment of extra-curricular internships should be limited to people with difficulties of social inclusion;
  • guaranteeing an adequate participation allowance, a maximum duration that includes possible extensions, and maximum internships that can be established based on the company size;
  • defining essential levels of training for the intern, and providing skills certification at the end of the training;
  • defining a minimum quota of interns to be recruited from among those already in place before taking new ones;
  • actions and procedures to prevent and counter a distorted use of the measure, by identifying the intern working methods.

In addition to future provisions, the Budget Law has includes several principles that have been in force since its entry into force:

  • participation allowance: failure to provide an adequate allowance, under the guidelines, shall result in the offender being charged with “an administrative sanction of an amount proportional to the offence seriousness, ranging from a minimum of €1,000 up to €6,000”;
  • fraudulent internship use: an internship is not identified as having an employment relationship and cannot replace an employee. If the internship is carried out fraudulently the host company shall be punished with a “fine of €50 for each intern involved and each day of internship”. This is without prejudice to “ recognising the existence of an employment relationship at the intern’s request, from the time of the judicial decision“.
  • communication to the Employment Centre: the obligation for the electronic reporting of the establishment of an internship only concerns extracurricular internships. If the reporting is omitted or delayed, an administrative sanction between €100 and €500 is foreseen for each intern concerned;
  • safety obligations: during internships, the host company must comply with health and safety provisions of Legislative Decree no. 81/2008. The host bears the relevant costs. As pointed out by INL, the health and safety of interns is protected in the same way as employees.
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