Why does the company need interns

But an internship is also a big step that needs to be carefully prepared. There are no legal regulations for qualifying a company for an internship.

And the type of company does not matter either, as large companies, freelancers or even small start-ups can hire interns. Nevertheless, there are some regulations that the employer must observe and clarify before he wants to hire an intern.

So, if you are considering hiring an intern, the following points can help you understand what to consider when doing so.

Compulsory internship or voluntary internship? A big difference.

The first decision that has to be made internally in the company is the choice in favor of a certain type of internship.

There are two options that have a strong influence on the internship, both for the intern and for the employer:

1. The compulsory internship

This type of internship mostly affects students or pupils. As part of the course, the mandatory internship with a prescribed duration is part of the training. In this case, the university or school remains the main employer of the intern. As a result, the intern has no entitlement to vacation or remuneration during a compulsory internship during their studies. Most employers issue a certificate for the intern as part of a compulsory internship. However, interns are not entitled to an evaluated internship certificate.

2. The voluntary internship

In the case of a voluntary internship, the employer takes on the role of the main employer. In this case, the company is subject to the Vocational Training Act (BBiG), which means that the intern is entitled to vacation, remuneration and a certificate. In addition, the trainee can terminate the training relationship at any time within the framework of an internship with a notice period of four weeks.

The internship contract. Security for both sides.

As soon as the decision in favor of one of the two types of internship has been made, an employment contract should be developed that defines the rights and obligations of both parties. There is no legal obligation to do so. Nevertheless, an employment contract is an important document that prevents disagreements.

The following points must be particularly observed:

  • Duration of the internship
  • Weekly work time
  • working hours
  • compensation
  • holidays
  • Regulations in the event of illness
  • Areas of responsibility
  • Confidentiality clause about proprietary internal information

Legal requirements for hiring an intern

Especially when considering creating long-term internships, it can make sense to consider working with a tax advisor.

As soon as employers employ interns, their contributions to the success of the company are subject to certain regulations and obligations. This needs to be clarified in advance.

Also with regard to the confidentiality clause, it is worth talking to the tax advisor in order to observe the applicable data protection laws.

Illness or accident. Who is paying?

The insurance relationship depends on the type of internship. In the case of a voluntary internship, the employer has to pay the insurance contributions, as he is the main employer. Interns, on the other hand, who study and do a compulsory internship are insured through the university. Or through the state health insurance, which must be taken out as a student.

No entitlement but bonus: the company's decision to have compulsory interns

Companies that have decided to employ compulsory interns do not legally have to grant leave or pay. This regulation is a big problem for many students. Not infrequently the place of residence is changed for an internship, or even a whole semester is planned, which is an enormous financial burden.

For this reason, more and more companies are deciding to also pay compulsory interns in order to continue to attract motivated young professionals for their company. An internship after graduation can also be useful, we explain why here.

The following decisions can be made for the two largest formal points:

Instead of the minimum wage, many companies opt for an expense allowance as a contribution to the costs for the intern. This is usually 450 euros per month, but varies depending on the duration and scope of the internship.

Since wages are an important factor for applicants, it is worthwhile for the company to make wise decisions on this point. Qualified specialists already know what they are worth while they are studying. And what not.

Vacation is also not required by law for a compulsory internship. However, if the internship lasts for a long time, it is a good decision to allow vacation. The usual guideline is 2 days per month.

When it starts: tasks and dealing with the interns

The image of an intern has changed a lot in recent years. If in the past the interns only made contributions to the coffee consumption of the employees, today they are not infrequently considered as full employees in the company. Of course, interns cannot be entrusted with the most responsible tasks directly, but they should also deal with demanding tasks.

The following do‘s and don‘ts provide a brief overview of how to deal with interns:


✔ Supervision of own projects during the internship

✔ Clear definition of the internship's goals

✔ Comparison of expectations through feedback discussions

✔ Complex and demanding tasks

✔ Involvement of the intern in team activities


✘ Hire interns as cheap assistants

✘ Reduction of the intern's contributions to mere viewing

✘ Monotonous and uniform tasks

✘ Lack of interest in the intern's success during the internship

✘ Little or no work

It quickly becomes clear: interns want to be challenged and encouraged. Just like regular employees. Ideally, the internship should help you start your career. To ensure this, intensive preparation of the internship is necessary.

After the internship: the internship certificate

Often contractually agreed, the internship certificate represents an important milestone for the intern. With this document, he can not only prove the information in the curriculum vitae. But also shine through practical experience when starting your career. In addition, in the best case scenario, the certificate provides information about the personal suitability of an applicant, something that is of crucial importance when starting a career.

Understandably, after successfully completing the internship, the internship certificate is an obligation for every employer in order to let satisfied interns go. Or, at best, take over.

The following points should therefore be included in every good job reference:

✔ A brief description of the company. In the case of applications, this ensures a problem-free, professional classification of the practical experience.
✔ Name of the area of ​​activity and the main task.
✔ A concrete job description by naming the various tasks.
✔ Classification of professional skills. Is the intern suitable for this subject area?
✔ Classification of social skills. Is the intern able to work in a team, stress-resistant, communicative, etc.?
✔ Successes during the internship
✔ Wishes and suggestions for the future