Frequently Asked Questions

The information on this page does not exempt you from consulting the Labor Code and Labor Law in force.

The contents here present may change at any time, in case of doubt, seek legal advice from a specialized professional.

Working Student System

Who are working students?

Working students are people who undertake activities under the authority and supervision of another and who are receiving an education at any level, including post-graduate courses at educational establishments.

Also covered by the provisions in the working student statutes are students who are in one of the following situations:

  • - Are self-employed workers;
  • - Are attending occupational training courses or temporary youth employment schemes, if they last for six months or longer.

Persons subsequently made redundant do not lose the status of working student.

Should working students have specific working hours?

Yes. Working students should have specific working hours, which are flexible enough to adjust to their classes and to the time spent travelling to the educational establishment.

When it is not possible to apply the system laid down in the previous paragraph, the working student is given time off to attend their classes under the terms laid down in special legislation.

What are the requirements for obtaining the status of working student?

To obtain this status, the working student must:

  • - Present proof of their student status, present their timetable and prove that they have passed their examinations at the end of each school year;
  • - Prove to the educational establishment that they are working.

Do working students have specific working hours?

Yes. Companies should draw up specific working hours for working students, which are flexible enough to adjust to their class attendance and to the time spent travelling to the respective educational establishments involved. If this is not possible, the working student should be given up to six hours off per week without any loss of wages or other benefits.

The system chosen will be agreed between the employer, the workers concerned and the representative structures (e.g. trade unions) to conciliate the rights of working students with the normal functioning of companies or services.

Time off to attend classes may be used once only or in fractions and depends on the hours worked per week as follows:

  • - Between twenty and twenty-nine hours worked - up to three hours off;
  • - Between thirty and thirty-three hours worked - up to four hours off;
  • - Between thirty-four and thirty-seven hours worked - up to five hours off;
  • - Thirty-eight hours or more worked - up to six hours off;
  • - The normal work period of a working student may not exceed eight hours per day and forty hours per week, including overtime, except in cases of force majeure.

If both parties agree, they can choose the flexible system laid down in general law, which allows the working student the right to one day off work per month without the loss of wages.

The working student who does shift work has the same rights, if the adjustment of the work periods is not totally incompatible with the functioning of the system.

If it not possible to adjust their working hours, the worker has the right to preference for jobs which are compatible with their occupational skills and with the possibility attending the classes they are proposing.

Does the working student have the right to time off for tests and assessments, without losing wages or any other benefits?

Yes. Pursuant to the following terms:

  • - Up to two days for each test or assessment, one being for taking the test or assessment itself and the other the day immediately before, including Saturdays, Sundays and bank holidays;
  • - When tests or assessments take place on consecutive days or when there is more than one test or assessment on the same day, the days before will be equal to the number of tests or assessments to be done, including Saturdays, Sundays and bank holidays;
  • - The days of absence may not exceed a maximum of four days per subject.

What is meant by tests or assessments?

Tests or assessments are all written and oral tests as well as the presentation of work when it substitutes them.

Do working students have a special system for holidays and leave from work?

Yes. Working students have the right to organise their holidays according to their educational needs, except where this is not compatible with the employer's holiday plan.

Working students have the right to 15 separate days of holidays, which they may choose freely, except where they are incompatible because the establishment or service closes for the holidays at the same time.

Each calendar year, working students may use 10 consecutive or separate working days of leave which are deducted from their wages, but will not lose any other privileges if they submit their request as follows:

  • - Forty-eight hours in advance for one day's leave;
  • - Eight days in advance for two to five days leave;
  • - One month in advance for over five days leave.

Do educational establishments must give working students special exemptions or benefits?

Yes. Working students are not subject to any rules which stipulate a minimum number of subjects they must attend for a certain course, at the level of education where this is possible, or to rules which are prescriptive or which involve a change of establishment.
Working students are not subject to legal provisions which make academic success dependent on taking a minimum number of classes per subject.
Working students are not subject to rules which limit the number of examinations to be taken during the re-sit period.
Working students have a special examination period for all courses and each academic year. Examinations, tests and assessments, and minimum support services for working students should be outside working hours.
Working students have the right to attend classes to compensate the classes they have missed whenever the teachers consider them vital for assessment and learning processes due to the nature of the subject.

When do the rights of working students end?

The privileges laid down in the legislation on Working Hours, Holidays and Leave end when working students fail to pass the academic year for which they are receiving the same privileges. All other privileges end when working students fail two successive years or three separate years.

Working students are considered to have passed the year when they go through to the following academic year or have passed at least half of the subjects enrolled for, this number being rounded down when necessary, and any subject is considered to have been failed when it has been given up voluntarily, except when justified by facts not attributable to the student, particularly in cases of prolonged illness, accident, pregnancy or the fulfilment of legal obligations.

Working students may apply again for this status the year after their loss of privileges.

This site uses cookies to allow a better user experience. By browsing the site you are consenting to its use. OK Privacy Policy