Low-cost airline Transavia had effectively placed students in training as full-fledged employees, the Labor Inspectorate concluded after an investigation. Dozens of students have worked for airlines as regular flight attendants for long periods of time, despite receiving only low internship allowances.
The Labor Inspectorate initially did not specify which airlines were the targets of the allegations, but a Transavia spokeswoman confirmed the focus was on Dutch low-cost airlines.
These are the trainees who were hired as internships from February to June last year. They were given the same duties and responsibilities as flight attendants and were subject to the same work schedules. The Labor Inspectorate therefore found that an employment relationship existed and that the students were underpaid in violation of the Minimum Wage and Minimum Holiday Allowance Act (Wml).
The Labor Inspectorate launched an investigation after several reports were filed against the company last year. A total of 60 students from five different vocational education institutions were found to be involved in the incident. The internships for these students should have been focused on training and teaching, but in reality the internships were primarily aimed at working, not learning, the inspectorate said.
The company will soon receive a formal report from the inspectorate, which may include details of fines and other sanctions. In addition, the company recently received a letter obliging the affected employees to pay their unpaid salaries within four weeks. This concerns both wages and holiday pay. Transavia promised to pay for it, but did not disclose the total amount owed.
Air France said: “In anticipation of the report on the investigation, the Labor Inspectorate noted in conversations with Transavia that our supervision of the summer 2022 flight trainee group has turned out differently than planned. We deeply regret this.” – KLM subsidiary responded in writing. A spokesman declined to comment further.
Transavia said it believes it is important for MBO students to gain hands-on experience through in-flight internships. “These internships were planned in consultation with the MBO school, and adjustments were made last year based on discussions between the trainees and the MBO school.”
https://nltimes.nl/2023/06/13/transavia-used-trainees-interns-employees-flights Transavia hired trainees and interns as airline employees