Internship: content, remuneration and social security obligation

What does an internship include?

Anyone who undertakes a specific activity and training course in a company as part of their overall training (e.g. to gain admission to a degree or university examination) is generally considered to be an intern. There are various ways of legally structuring an internship. It can make up part of the course or be set up as an apprenticeship in accordance with Section 19 of the Vocational Training Act (BBiG). It depends on what legal status an intern has.
Ist das Praktikum ein Teil des Studiums, dann findet das Arbeitsrecht keine Anwendung. Dies gilt insbesondere dann, wenn das Praktikum bereits vor Antritt des Studiums abgeleistet werden muss. Nach der Rechtsprechung des Bundessozialgerichts handelt es sich bei Praktikanten um Personen, die sich mit den im Beruf verwandten Materialien, Werkzeugen und Maschinen vertraut machen, damit sie den einschlägigen Vorlesungen auf der Universität besser consequences können. Eine derartige berufspraktische Tätigkeit muss in der jeweiligen Studien- oder Prüfungsordnung vorgeschrieben sein und kann vor, während oder auch nach dem Studium liegen.

Befindet sich ein Praktikant hingegen in einem Ausbildungsverhältnis im Sinne des § 19 BBiG, dann gelten für ihn die für den Arbeitsvertrag geltenden Vorschriften. Dazu gehören z. B. das Bundesurlaubsgesetz, das Betriebsverfassungsgesetz, das Youth Labor Protection Act oder das Arbeitszeitgesetz.
In contrast to an "actual" apprenticeship, the employer in an internship is only obliged to give the intern the opportunity to acquire the necessary practical knowledge. This includes the provision of operational information, staff training and the provision of the necessary documents and materials. On the other hand, the employer has no obligation to train the intern.

When is there no internship?

There is no internship in the following cases:

Employees in a trainee relationship: Before you are employed in your job, you should acquire the most necessary professional knowledge. In terms of your status, you are to be regarded as an employee who is primarily concerned with performing work for remuneration.

Editorial volunteers: The traineeship is completed as part of the training to become an editor. The editors are obliged to provide training and employment in this regard. The volunteers, on the other hand, have a duty to work. As a rule, the general collective agreement for editors applies to editorial volunteers.

Candidates or aspirants: This group is predominantly made up of young people from abroad. They receive language tuition and other support measures that are intended to provide them with pre-vocational training that corresponds to the training of German young people.

The practical year: This facility is a business education measure aimed at improving the chances of young unemployed people between the ages of 18 and 25. This twelve-month measure is financed by the labor administration.

Are interns subject to social security?

According to Section 5, Paragraph 1, No. 10 of the Social Security Code V, interns are generally subject to statutory health insurance. However, this may be omitted under certain circumstances.

An exception to the compulsory health insurance exists, for example, if a trainee is self-employed in his main occupation, is exempt from insurance for other reasons or has been exempted from compulsory insurance.

If the internship is carried out in an employment relationship for remuneration, then interns are also subject to pension insurance and they are subject to accident insurance.

When is there an entitlement to remuneration?

This basically depends on the type of internship. If it is a so-called pre-study internship (e.g. for certain technical college courses) or an internship that is not part of the course, you are entitled to remuneration and also to vacation. Because this is an independent professional training. On the other hand, students in so-called internship semesters are not entitled to collectively regulated remuneration and vacation. However, a fixed remuneration is usually paid in the economy. Often days off are also granted.

How do you get an internship?

Often regional and supraregional companies already offer internship positions in the various departments of universities and colleges, which are usually posted there on the notice board.

Of course, the Internet also offers a wide range of job exchanges for students and interns, e. B .:

· Campus International ( On this page you can find internships and summer jobs all over the world.

· Internship at the University of Mannheim (www Praktikum. This is an exchange for students of all disciplines as well as for companies. Almost 1000 internship positions are offered. You can also submit an application yourself.

· Unicum ( Numerous internships are also offered here, sorted by company, subject, zip code and date.

· WiWo-Börse ( Wirtschaftswoche offers almost 15,000 (!) Internship positions - sorted by entry date, industry and company.

Internship - important judgments

Unemployment benefit: exemptions for company interns
The company internship of a university student, which is used exclusively for the preparation of the diploma thesis, does not mean that such a student is counted among the group of employees subject to compulsory insurance. Rather, he remains a student, so that he has a non-contributory activity.
BSG, February 11, 1993 - AZ: 7 RAr 52/92

Crediting as working time
An in-company internship that was used for professional training (§ 46 BBiG) is to be taken into account when calculating the waiting time according to § 1 KSchG (six months) as a prerequisite for protection against dismissal if it was completed as part of an employment relationship.
BAG, November 18, 1999 - AZ: 2 AZR 89/99

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