The CovidCheck regime became mandatory in the workplace in Luxembourg as of Saturday 15 January 2022, following the approval of Bill 7924 in the Chamber of Deputies (Luxembourg's parliament) on 16 December 2021, amending the law of 17 July 2020 on measures to combat COVID-19.
The CovidCheck obligation in the workplace effectively meant that every employee was required to present one of the following:
- a valid vaccination certificate with a QR code (full vaccination schedule);
- a valid certificate of recovery with a QR code;
- a valid negative PCR test (less than 48 hours) or antigenic test (less than 24 hours) with a QR code.
In the case of a valid medical certificate of contraindication approved by the Director of Health (i.e. a person who cannot be vaccinated for health reasons), a self-diagnostic rapid antigen test had to be carried out onsite.
In the case of an employee who refused or was unable to present one of the above certificates, and who did not take leave or if leave is not granted by the employer, article 3septies of the amended law specified that the employee, public official or self-employed person would not have the right to access his / her place of work, and he / she would automatically lose the part of his / her remuneration corresponding to the hours not worked (i.e. unpaid leave).
Moreover, since the period of non-payment counts as an effective period of the insurance career within the limit of the threshold of 64 hours per month, the employer was required to declare these periods of non-payment to the Joint Social Security Centre (Centre commun de sécurité sociale - CCSS) in relation to pension contributions.
On Friday 11 March 2022, several COVID-19-related health measures were scaled back, including the CovidCheck obligation in the workplace.
In relation to these changes, Chronicle.lu reached out to Luxembourg's Ministry of Social Security to learn about the total number of employees who have been affected by unpaid leave related to the CovidCheck obligation in the workplace.
A representative of the Ministry confirmed that a total amount of 2,834 hours of unpaid leave were taken by employees under the CovidCheck obligation, equivalent to nearly 71 full-time work weeks (40 hours per week).
In terms of different sectors (Nomenclature statistique des Activités économiques dans la Communauté Européenne - NACE), manufacturing (NACE: C) accounted for the largest share with 707 hours (88 full work days), followed by wholesale and retail trade including the repair of motor vehicles and motorcycles (NACE: G) with 412 hours (51 full work days), human health and social work activities (NACE: Q) with 357 hours (45 full work days) and administrative and support service activities (NACE: N) with 306 hours (38 full work days) of unpaid leave.
UPDATE: A representative of the Ministry of Social Security has confirmed that the total amount of 2,834 hours of unpaid leave were taken by 70 employees under the CovidCheck obligation between 15 January and 11 March 2022.