Holiday work practice and social insurance

Holiday work experience trainees

'Real' holiday work experience trainees are school or university students who undergo practical work which is required or customary as part of the curriculum or conditions of study, without receiving payment or benefits in kind. While working, they are insured in case of accidents under the statutory accident insurance for school/university students, without any contribution from the employer and without registering for social security. A holiday work placement is not just for holidays; it can be completed at any time of year. The following criteria are typical of a placement for a holiday work experience trainee:

  • It must be evident that school/university students studying a certain subject are employed in the company within this same field.
  • The practical work at the company shall correspond to the education and training objectives of the type of school or conditions of study concerned.
  • The duration of the holiday work placement shall comply with the applicable training rules. The employer shall keep evidence of the training requirements.
  • The holiday work experience trainee shall not receive payment or benefits in kind, nor is he/she entitled to such under employment law.
  • There shall be no personal obligation to work, no subjection to instruction and inspection and no organisational integration in the company.
  • The focus of the activity is on education and training rather than performance.


If school/university students are employed during their internship as employees with personal and economic dependence, or if they are subject to liability for income tax due to payments or benefits in kind granted to them, then they must be registered!

Special regulations in the hotel and catering industry:

  • An employment relationship is justified only by a holiday work placement in the hotel and catering industry.
  • Voluntary service is excluded by a mandatory internship in the hotel and catering industry.
  • The appropriate collective agreement shall be used. Holiday work experience trainees shall be entitled at least to remuneration equivalent to the applicable collectively agreed provisions.
  • These holiday work experience trainees shall submit claims using the worker or employee group of employees.

For more information on "holiday work experience trainees (→ USP)" visit


Volunteers are people who work in a business with the sole purpose of enhancing and applying their (mostly) theoretical knowledge, without an obligation to work and without remuneration (e.g. pocket money). If remuneration is given, then an employment relationship exists.

The following are typical of voluntary service, for example:

  • No commitment to a specific activity
  • The apprenticeship predominantly benefits the volunteer.

These are people who, thanks to their educational background or completed training, are already theoretically competent in performing the respective role but want to expand their acquired knowledge in practice.

This category of persons shall only be partially covered by accident insurance.

Real volunteers, in line with the explanations above, shall register directly with the Austrian Workers' Compensation Board (Allgemeine Unfallversicherungsanstalt – AUVA) for insurance. 

For more information on "Volunteers (→ USP)" visit

Further links

Certified Translation
Last update: 6 February 2023

Responsible for the content: Association of Austrian Social Insurance Institutions