ADOPTION OF THE OPINION “TELEWORKING IN LUXEMBOURG”

The Economic and Social Council has adopted, during its plenary assembly of September 11, 2020, the opinion “Teleworking in Luxembourg”.

This opinion was planned as part of the series of self-reviews dedicated to cross-border work. The first opinion in this series, adopted by the plenary assembly on 20 January 2020, gave a comprehensive description of the phenomenon of cross-border work to highlight the vital importance of this contribution of manpower for the Luxembourg economy.

In Luxembourg, the teleworking regime is subject to a legal framework through a framework agreement signed on 21 February 2006 between the Union des Entreprises Luxembourgeoises (UEL) on the one hand and the trade unions OGBL and LCGB on the other. This framework agreement has been renewed twice (in 2011 and 2015) and declared to be a general obligation on 15 March 2016 by means of a Grand Ducal regulation.

However, this ESC opinion aims to go beyond public debates that often oversimplify a subject that is actually quite complex. It is thus topical but aims to objectively present the different aspects of telework, its numerous legal, fiscal, social security, economic, societal and budgetary implications, as well as areas for reflection and recommendations for adapting the existing framework.

It begins, in the first chapter, with a presentation of the different concepts of teleworking and a brief history of its evolution from the 1970s to the present day.

Then, in a second chapter, it focuses on statistical data by presenting the situation in Luxembourg first in 2019 and then in April 2020, i.e., during the lockdown, to show the impact of the health crisis on the teleworking regime.

Chapter three is first dedicated to the risks and opportunities of teleworking for the employee as well as for the employer and then presents, more generally, the challenges of teleworking taking into account societal and sustainable development implications. Beyond that, it highlights the possible implications that an increase in the number of teleworkers could have on the State budget or on the Luxembourg economy.

Finally, the last chapter is the centrepiece of this opinion as it deals with the existing legislative and regulatory framework and makes concrete recommendations on the various aspects of the teleworking regime, based on some examples of international law.