On Friday 27 March 2020, the Luxembourg Cabinet approved an agreement between the government and the presidents of the OGBL and LCGB trade unions.
This agreement provides that if employers use the partial unemployment scheme in order to combat the economic and social consequences of COVID-19 (coronavirus), the compensation allowance (which in principle corresponds to 80% of the normal reference salary capped at 250% the minimum social wage for unskilled workers) cannot be less than the amount of the minimum social wage for unskilled workers. Any difference between the amount of the compensation allowance and the unqualified minimum social wage will be paid by the Employment Fund.
Furthermore, in order to speed up and facilitate the processing of requests for partial unemployment for cases of force majeure linked to the coronavirus crisis, a new automated system has been implemented.
Indeed, Luxembourg's employment agency ADEM recalled that, in order to maintain employment and thus avoid layoffs, Luxembourg labour law provides that companies may have recourse, under certain conditions, to different partial unemployment schemes, depending on the nature of the difficulties encountered. This system allows companies to keep their employees trained and equipped with skills essential for the proper functioning of their activities. The partial unemployment scheme is therefore one of the major instruments enabling companies to cope with the decline in economic activity due to the coronavirus health crisis.
In view of the current exceptional situation and the repercussions on the life of companies and their employees, the conditions for applying for and obtaining partial unemployment have been adjusted. In order to speed up and facilitate the procedure for applying for partial unemployment for force majeure linked to the COVID-19 crisis, ADEM, in close collaboration with the secretariat of the Economic Committee and the Government IT Centre (Centre des technologies de l'information de l'Etat, CTIE), has set up a new automated system which allows companies to submit their request for partial unemployment via an online form on the site: http://guichet.lu/cocp.
Companies must make their request monthly through a secure authentication (LuxTrust product or electronic identity card). They also have the possibility of having their request submitted by their representative (a trustee), for instance if they do not have a LuxTrust product. The data collected will be processed by ADEM in an automated manner. The application was designed to be as simple as possible for businesses. From now on, companies will have to use the form available on Guichet.lu to make their request; requests by post, email or fax will no longer be accepted.
Requests from companies that can no longer carry on their activities following recent government decisions will be directly processed by ADEM. The requests of other companies will be treated only after the agreement of the Economic Committee. In both cases and as soon as the request is accepted, ADEM will pay an advance to the companies. This advance corresponds to 80% of the salaries of agents affected by short-time working and will enable companies to obtain liquidity quickly. After the end of the month, the company will have to make a detailed statement mentioning the hours actually worked. On the basis of this statement, ADEM will calculate the sums owed by the Employment Fund. The company will be required to reimburse any overpayment.