The Internship Law, In Force since August 18, 2018

Internship Law 2018The law 176/2018 on internship regulates how companies can have interns to work "in order to develop their professional skills" and "to facilitate their transition from the education system to the labor market." Published in the Official Gazette No. 626 on 19 July 2018, the law comes into force on 18 August.
Companies and public institutions can thus enter into paid internship contracts with young people aged 16 (or 15, but in this case the parent / guardian’s consent is required), the work of an intern being no more than 720 hours during the 6 consecutive months, no more than 40 hours per week. For interns under the age of 18, similar to the provisions of the Labor Code on employment contracts of minors, the internship program cannot be more than 30 hours a week, 6 hours a day.
Depending on the number of employees, the legal person (the host organization) can simultaneously conclude a limited number of internship contracts, not more than 5% of the total number of employees, with the exception of companies with a maximum of 20 employees, which are allowed to complete at the same time maximum two internship contracts. 

Only paid internship

One of the novelties brought by the internship law refers to the obligation of the host organization to pay each intern an internship allowance of at least 50% of the gross minimum salary, in proportion to the number of the worked hours.
Similar to the individual labor contract, the internship contract is mandatory in a written form, which is the responsibility of the host organization.
At the same time, the internship period is considered, starting August 18th, seniority and, depending on the case, seniority in specialty.
The work of the intern is evaluated at the end of the internship period and the host organization issues an internship certificate stating:
  • The period during the intern has acted on the basis of the related contract;
  • The undertaken activities;
  • The rating obtained from the evaluation. 

The employment of interns, rewarded from the budget

The host organizations that, within 60 days after the completing of the internship program, conclude labor contracts with the intern, receive on request from the unemployment insurance budget a promotion premium of 4,586 lei per employed person. The condition is to maintain the working relations with the former intern, currently employed, for an uninterrupted period of at least 24 months. 

The Register of Evidence of Internship Contracts

 As individual labor contracts are registered in ReviSal, once the Internship Law enters into force, the Register of Evidence of Internship Contracts, administered by the County Agencies for Employment, respectively the Bucharest Municipality Agency, is established. The host organization has access to this registry through a password.
The Electronic Register of Evidence includes:
  • The identification elements of the intern;
  • The start date of the internship program;
  • The duration of the contract;
  • The amount of internship allowance;
  • The field of the program;
  • The end date of the contract. 

Traineeship versus Internship 

The law, in the analysis of the National Council of Private Small and Medium Enterprises in Romania (CNIPMMR), raises a number of problems, as shown in a Council press release:
  • The age limit of interns is not specified;
  • There is not specified a maximum number of internship contracts that a person can conclude;
  • The provisions of the internship law overlap, in case of higher education graduates, with the law 335/2013 regarding the traineeship. When the length of the training period is 6 months, it is not clear to employers when signing internship contracts and when traineeship contracts, both having the same purpose.
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