The Social Security Contributions of University Interns in Spain

Since 2011, the Spanish Social Security System (System) has excluded university students.  Thus, companies have not had to contribute to the System on behalf of their student interns.

However, this is no longer the case.  On May 21, 2013, the Spanish Supreme Court issued a Decision based on a proceeding involving the Trade Union Confederation of Workers’ Commissions (CCOO), which was filed against the 1717/2011 Royal Decree.  This legal action automatically revoked the rule that excluded university students from the System.

Contribution is now compulsory for university or vocational interns who receive financial consideration during the period of the internship.  Enforcement of the Decision is immediate.

  • The company will have to complete the registration at the Spanish Social Security office, entity, or institution that finances the ongoing training program.
  • In the case where the company does not fulfil this condition, the intern will be able to request it directly at the Spanish Social Security Treasury.

Conditions for the Contribution

  • The company or institution (public or private) shall pay the intern.
  • The internship shall give rise to financial consideration for the benefit of the interns.
  • The internship shall give rise to financial consideration for the interns, regardless of the concept or the form in which it is received.
  • The intern shall have some connection to university studies or professional training.
  • The internship period shall not be purely academic, and it shall include training sessions in enterprises, institutions, or entities.

The intern will receive a certificate from the company or entity that finances the internship to accredit the intern’s experience.

The contribution extends throughout the training period — even at the moment of the initial formation.  The expected duration must be accredited.

The intern’s contribution will cover all the quotas that the System provides, except for unemployment.

The intern is entitled to retirement, invalidity, and temporary incapacity benefits for both work accidents and common diseases.

To determine the cost of the contribution, the quotas established each year for the formation contracts serve as a reference.

In 2013, the cost of the contingency will be divided between the company and the intern in the following form:

Covered contingencies

Company charges

Intern charges

Total quota

Common quotas (retirement, invalidity,

Common diseases)




Work accidents and professional diseases







For additional information,

Please note that this article is not intended to provide legal advice.

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