(L-R) Marco Boly, Director of ITM; Georges Mischo, Luxembourg's Minister of Labour; Credit: ITM

On Monday 29 April 2024, Luxembourg's Minister of Labour, Georges Mischo, and ITM Director Marco Boly presented the Inspectorate of Labour and Mines' (ITM) 2023 annual report at a press conference.

As reported by the ITM, geopolitical uncertainties, rising energy prices, inflation and the rapid rise in interest rates influenced the economic and social context of 2023. As such, the ITM has faced a set of increased challenges in ensuring compliance with labour regulations. These external factors may have created additional pressures on employers and employees, thus making the promotion of prevention at work all the more crucial to maintaining safe working conditions that respect employees' rights.

The ITM added that it has stepped up its efforts to ensure compliance with regulations, carrying out a record number of inspections and issuing a significant number of injunctions. Whilst fines have also increased, ITM Director Marco Boly emphasised that "prevention remains the cornerstone of our strategy, and we will continue to encourage preventive practices in all areas of our action. Our goal is to establish a real culture of prevention in Luxembourg!"

In 2023, the ITM processed 366,607 requests, carried out 17,328 checks and issued 3,268 administrative fines for a total amount of €14,307,000. Two-thirds of the fines (totalling nearly €8.9 million) were for offences linked to the posting of workers. The ITM stressed the need for all companies operating in Luxembourg to comply with regulations, particularly concerning the abusive exploitation of differences in pay and social regulations, with the aim of gaining a competitive advantage over local companies, a practice which is strictly prohibited.

Labour Minister Georges Mischo added: "We position ourselves, on this subject of social dumping, as defenders of local businesses in relation to unfair competition and as protector of employees with regard to their working conditions."

The minister and the ITM director also paid particular attention to the new laws introduced in Luxembourg concerning, on the one hand, moral harassment and, on the other, the protection of whistleblowers. According to the ITM, these sensitive topics require increased vigilance and concerted action to ensure respectful, fair and safe working environments for all. The ITM added that employers and employees alike have been made aware of these new regulations.

With the entry into force of the law of 29 March 2023 relating to protection against moral harassment in employment relationships, the ITM launched a communication campaign in order to raise awareness and put an end to situations of harassment at work.

The ITM also reiterated its commitment to young people, noting that student internships and jobs provide an "essential gateway" to learning practical skills, exploring areas of interest and developing a professional network. The ITM also carried out an information campaign on this subject to educate, inform and encourage young people to take full advantage of these opportunities.

Minister Mischo recalled: "It is crucial that companies and employees are better informed about the activities and objectives of the ITM in order to better understand the importance of protection at work. As Minister of Labour, I am committed to making this priority a reality by making this mission more transparent for everyone."