Mon. Dec 4th, 2023
exploited when you are an intern
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Between the desire to do well and self-forgetfulness, the position of trainee is sometimes a balancing act. To avoid these unfortunate experiences, here is a guide for trainees which describes the best practices, tools and safeguards in force.

1. Have an internship agreement in good and due form

It is the prerequisite for any course, and the text to which we refer if it does not go well. In the manner of an employment contract (but it is not one!) the agreement makes it possible to write down all the essential points of the internship: the duration, the missions, the supervision (a tutor in the company , a representative of the school), the gratuity, the advantages, the insurance in the event of an accident, the social protection scheme, the validation conditions… But also the terms of suspension and termination of the course. “If the announced missions are not respected, it is precisely this document which makes it possible to step up to the plate”, explains Stéphanie Devèze-Delaunay, legal expert in the field of internships at the Ministry of Higher Education.

2. Know your rights

What are his rights? For a period of more than two months in a row, the intern receives a bonus whose hourly rate, for 2022, cannot be less than 3.90 euros per hour of internship, i.e. 600.60 euros for 44 days of 7 hours . The internship period cannot exceed six months.

Be careful, you have to get information from the host organization because the collective agreement may be more generous. The trainee benefits from the same provisions as the employees of the company with regard to catering and transport. Since the law of July 28, 2011, the student in training is entitled to the social and cultural activities of the works council under the same conditions as employees. He is also protected in the event of moral or sexual harassment.

3. Not saying “yes” to everything

 “Why would companies change their behavior towards interns if they say ‘yes’ to everything, and especially to anything? asks Ophélie Latil, director of the equality & inclusion consulting firm Dames Oiseaux. What is important is the work dynamic! Because the challenge of the internship is to learn what we don’t teach at school: group work, respecting schedules, learning to say ‘no’

4. Talk about your difficulties

First stage: discuss it with your colleagues who can be of good advice with regard to their experience in the company and/or in contact with the tutor.

Second stage (and if you feel comfortable): try to put the subject on the table with your boss, referring to what is written in the signed internship agreement (missions, tasks, internship subject ). Do not hesitate to expose your difficulties. In some establishments, there are mediators who specialize in managing this type of crisis.

5. Seek outside help

 It is possible to report the abusive conditions of an internship to the Labor Inspectorate. You can also, in large groups, notify occupational medicine, which includes prevention in its field of action. You can also take legal action before the tribunal des Prud’hommes – like any worker.

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