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S&Ds urge an ambitious EU law to ensure fair pay and full rights for all trainees


07 Feb 2024


Social Europe & Jobs

As the European Parliament today debates traineeships in Europe, the Socialists and Democrats again urge the European Commission’s president to clear the way for an ambitious proposal for a new EU law that will ensure fair pay and full rights for all trainees. 

In June 2023, the European Parliament adopted a progressive and ambitious report on quality traineeships. Now, the Commission must follow the Parliament’s recommendations and ensure the same rights to all trainees, not only focus on those considered as workers in some EU member states. 

Alicia Homs, S&D MEP and European Parliament’s rapporteur on quality traineeships in the EU, said: 

“The S&Ds have been urging for an EU law to ban unpaid traineeships for a very long time. Today, we repeat our call on the Commission to put forward a proposal without any further delay. 

“We demand a strong and ambitious law, ensuring that all trainees are fairly paid for their work, as well as entitled to the same rights and protection as regular workers. In practice, this means written contracts, limited in time, as well as access to social protection and representation. 

“Young Europeans are not cheap or free labour. They should not be trapped in never ending traineeships before being given a proper work opportunity to start their career and an independent life.” 

Agnes Jongerius, MEP and S&D spokesperson for employment, added: 

“We hope that the Commission’s president, who comes from the conservative family, will not block the progress again.

“We remain determined to ensure that all traineeships are paid and treated as proper work experience. We have so far kept our promise to young Europeans to ban unpaid traineeships, also by averting the attempts of the conservatives in this house to prevent any legislation on paid traineeships. 

“Young people are one of the most vulnerable groups on the labour market. We need to make sure that quality employment starts with their traineeship opportunities and they get a chance in life early on so that they can build their careers and independence.” 


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