In light of the Covid-19 outbreak, the right to short-time work has been extended and the process facilitated.
Short-time work applies in principle to all sectors of the economy if the causes invoked are directly related to the Covid-19 outbreak. More specifically, it may apply to employees who can no longer be employed, either at all or full-time, when the business is no longer able to ensure the normal functioning of its activity
because its supplier of raw materials is no longer able to deliver or supply the full volume required as a result of the Covid-19 outbreak, or if there is a substantial drop in orders from customers or users as a result of the Covid-19 outbreak; or
because of staff absences as a result of external decisions in respect of the Covid-19 outbreak, or if one or more of the departments of the business are at a standstill.
As a counterpart to the benefit of short-time work measures, employers commit not to dismiss employees for economic reasons until further notice.
In addition, prior information and consultation of the staff delegation (if any) is required.
All employees holding an employment contract are eligible for the short-time scheme (permanent, fixed-term, temporary, apprenticeship, etc.). However, employees on sick leave covered by a medical certificate are excluded.
Payments and reimbursements
Under the short-time work scheme, the employer pays each employee:
the salary due to the employee for every hour worked, including
a compensatory allowance equal to at least 80% of the normal gross salary of the employee for inactive hours.
Employers also have to continue to pay the following to the competent authorities:
- social contributions and withholding tax on salaries paid for hours worked;
- social contributions and withholding tax on the compensatory allowance paid for inactive hours, with the exception of contributions for (i) accident insurance and (ii) family benefits.
The State reimburses the employer with the compensatory allowance paid to each employee for inactive hours up to a maximum rate of 250% of the social minimum monthly wage for non-qualified workers (i.e. EUR 5,354.97, index 834,76). The allowance may not be lower than the rate of the social minimum wage for non-qualified workers (i.e. EUR 2,141.99, index 834.76).
Advance reimbursements to employers are being implemented.
To benefit from the short-time work scheme the employer must submit an online application (via the business eSpace in MyGuichet.lu) and renew it on a monthly basis.
If the application is approved the employer will receive advance payments based on the number of employees concerned by short-time measures. A balance will be made on a monthly basis according to a detailed statement to be issued by the employer after the end of each month with the exact inactive hours and the salary and compensatory allowances effectively paid to each concerned employee. Such monthly statements shall be countersigned by the concerned employees and the staff delegation. The legal timeline to submit such statement has been extended to 3 months. The employer shall reimburse the State of any greater amount received than the allowance actually due to the employee.