Commenced in January 2007
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Edition: International
Paper Count: 30127
The Portuguese Framework of the Professional Internship without Public Funds

Authors: Ana Lambelho


In an economic crisis such as the one that shook (and still shake) Europe, one does not question the importance of the measures that encourage the hiring and integration of young people into the labour market. In the mentioned context, enterprises tend to reduce the cost of labour and to seek flexible contracting instruments. The professional internships allow innovation and creativity at low cost, because, as they are not labour contracts, the enterprises do not have to respect the minimum standards related to wages, working time duration and so on. In Portugal, we observe a widespread existence of training contracts in which the trainee worked several hours without salary or was paid below the legally prescribed for the function and the work period. For this reason, under the tripartite agreement for a new system of regulation of labour relations, employment policies and social protection, between the Government and the social partners, in June 2008, foresaw a prohibition of professional internships unpaid and the legal regulation of the mandatory internships for access to an activity. The first Act about private internship contracts, i.e., internships without public funding was embodied in the Decree-Law N. 66/2011, of 1st June. This work is dedicated to the study of the legal regime of the internship contract in Portugal, by analysing the problems brought by the new set of rules and especially those which remains unresolved. In fact, we can conclude that the number of situations covered by the Act is much lower than what was expected, because of the exclusion of the mandatory internship for access to a profession when the activity is developed autonomously. Since the majority of the activities can be developed both autonomously or subordinated, it is quite easy to out of the Act requirements and, so, out of the protection that it confers to the intern. In order to complete this study, we considered not only the mentioned legal Act, but also the few doctrine and jurisprudence about the theme.

Keywords: Intern, internship contact, labour law, Portugal.

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[6] Last access on 29/04/2016