1. Become an accredited work placement company for mbo internships
If you want a student in senior secondary vocational education (middelbaar beroepsonderwijs, mbo) to do an internship with you, you must be an accredited work placement company. This is not necessary for an internship for a student in higher professional education (hoger beroepsonderwijs, hbo) or university. You can apply for accreditation at the Stichting Samen Beroepsonderwijs Bedrijfsleven (SBB). Accreditation as a work placement company is valid for 4 years.
Accreditation as a work placement company is also required for vmbo students
If you are going to supervise a student in pre-vocational secondary education (voorbereidend middelbaar beroepsonderwijs, vmbo) in a learning-by-doing programme, you must be a recognised work placement company. This also applies to interns with a disability from special secondary education or interns from practical education.
2. Announce that you have an internship available
Offer your internship (work placement) at the SBB Internship Market (in Dutch). And register your company with your municipality for Startersbeurs Nederland (in Dutch). You can use job platforms for internships at hbo and university levels. Educational organisations also often have their own internship office. You can also share the internship vacancy on social media.
3. Be a responsible and professional internship company
To hire an intern, you have several obligations.
- You provide sufficient work that is in line with the intern’s training.
- You are responsible for what the intern does during working hours. That is why you must, for example, ensure good working conditions. But you must also monitor working hours and ensure equal treatment, for instance.
- You provide the intern with intensive guidance. The intern must develop certain skills during the internship at your company.
Note: Additional rules apply to some foreign interns. Read more about offering an internship.
4. Arrange liability insurance
Check your business liability insurance, or make sure you take out one. Because as an employer, you are responsible for damage caused or incurred by the intern.
5. Record agreements in an internship contract
Make clear agreements with an internship agreement or contract. Such an agreement includes information, such as:
- details of the intern, the educational institute, and your company
- duration of the internship
- learning objectives and guidance
- internship activities
- any internship allowance
- who is liable in the event of damage
- handling of, for example, a company laptop or telephone
- when you and the intern may terminate the contract
An internship contract is not the same as a regular employment contract
Put agreements with an intern in an internship agreement, not in an employment contract. If you offer an employment contract, the intern will be employed by you. The intern then has the same duties and rights as an ordinary employee. You must then pay the minimum wage or collective labour agreement wage. And deduct payroll taxes from this, including the premiums for all employee insurance policies.
6. Determine the internship allowance
You are not obliged to pay your intern an internship fee. Unless the collective labour agreement that applies to your company specifies that you do. Nevertheless, an internship allowance is common nowadays. Many study programmes require an internship allowance.
You determine the amount of the internship fee yourself. For example, it depends on the level of education, work experience, and the academic year of the intern.
With an internship allowance, your intern is insured for Wajong and Sickness Benefits Act
Do you pay your intern an internship fee? Then they are insured under Young Disabled Persons Act (Wajong) and the Sickness Benefits Act. You do not pay employee insurance premiums for this. You also do not have to continue to pay wages in the event of illness.
7. Check if you are entitled to a subsidy
Because you offer an internship, you may be able to get a practice-based learning subsidy from the government. This is a contribution towards the costs you incur for the internship supervision. Check if you qualify for this subsidy.
Hiring an intern when you are a self-employed professional
Even if you are self-employed, you can sometimes hire an intern. Some study programmes allow students to do an internship with self-employed professionals without employees (zzp’er). Other schools and universities prefer larger organisations.
As for any other company, all the steps in this checklist also apply to you. And you must be able to meet the requirements of the educational institutions. For example, offering an educational workplace. And having the time to intensively supervise the intern.