FFE Magazine

French ministers stamp out intern abuse

by FFE EU News staff


Photo source: Joshua Hoffman

Interns or ‘stagiaires’ have long been at the receiving end of labour abuse, including overtime work and being underpaid.

To address the issue, the French ministers for Labour and Higher Education have teamed up to propose a new law that would protect interns from their employers. Labour minister Michel Sapin and Higher Education minister Geneviève Fioraso’s proposed law is set to enforce stricter measures for the use of interns in businesses.

The measures include:

  1. Enforcing the six-month cap
  2. Implementing a quota for the number of interns a company can hire
  3. Stricter monitoring of interns who are ‘phantom students’
  4. Enforce stricter gap when hiring interns
  5. Better protection against workplace abuse

Interns’ rights group Generation Precaire also advised interns to watch out for the following:

  1. Some internship that last less than two months can be unpaid.
  2. Guidance and training must be provided by the company.
  3. Sectors that consistently abuse interns like the media, communications, advertising, marketing and banks.

Vincent Laurent of Generation Precaire revealed that some companies are now adopting an apprenticeship system over internship. He said ‘You are considered part of the work force with an apprenticeship, so you have more rights, and the money is better.’

Fioraso said the proposed law is expected to be in place ‘by the end of this year.’

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