Unpaid trainees

German text altered new translation is not available yet!

General information

Unpaid trainees 

Unpaid trainees are persons working temporarily working in an operational organisation for training purposes.

The following conditions must be met:

  • Purpose of employment: Expanding an applying knowledge to acquire practical skills that are essential for training. The training relationship should primarily benefit the trainee.
  • No obligation to work
  • No entitlement to pay

General information about employing young people 

To be able to work as a young person during holidays, the following conditions must generally be met: 

  • Age: 15 or over
  • End of general compulsory school attendance

Compulsory school attendance (→ oesterreich.gv.at)German text ends after the end of year nine (roughly equivalent to year ten in the UK), at the start of the summer holiday (main school holiday).

Minors who celebrate their 15th birthday before the start of the summer holiday following year nine, are considered children as defined in the Kinder- und Jugendliches-Beschäftigungsgesetz. Only with the end of compulsory school attendance – at the start of the holiday – are they considered young people and are able from that time to work in a holiday job.

Persons under the age of 15 who have already finished compulsory school attendance can only be employed as part of

  • Apprenticeships
  • Special holiday work experience placements (Ferialpraktika), the purpose of which is to catch up on tuition missed during the school year
  • Compulsory work placements in accordance with the Schulorganisationsgesetz
  • Training schemes within integrated vocational education (→ oesterreich.gv.at)German text.

This is subject to the provisions of the Kinder- und Jugendliches-Beschäftigungsgesetz that apply for young people (sections 3 to 5), although these persons are considered children as defined by law.


Unpaid trainees must be provided with compulsory accident insurance through the employer. To do this, the employer must register the unpaid trainee with the General Accident Insurance Institution (AUVA). Generally, an informal letter stating the employment start and end dates and the insurance number of the unpaid trainee. The AUVA website also has a registration formGerman text available for download.

After the unpaid traineeship has ended, the owner of the operational organisation will receive a provisional notice from the General Accident Insurance Institution (AUVA) regarding the total accident insurance contributions payable.

Further links

Translated by the European Commission
Last update: 6 April 2022
Responsible for the content:
  • Federal Ministry of Labour
  • Association of Austrian Social Insurance Institutions

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