1. Conditions to benefit from partial unemployment due to coronavirus
The partial unemployment regime due to force majeure may apply to:
- employees who are not on sick leave duly justified by a medical certificate;
- employees who can no longer be employed at all or can no longer be employed on a full-time basis; and
- where the company can no longer ensure the normal functioning of its activity while its suppliers of raw materials can no longer deliver or no longer ensure all the necessary volume for reasons due to the coronavirus, or if there is a significant decline in demand from customers or any other providers due to coronavirus.
1.2. Staff absences due to external decisions related to the coronavirus leading the company to stop operating on an ordinary basis, or if one or more departments of the company are completely shut down
The partial unemployment scheme may also apply to:
- employees who are not on sick leave duly justified by a medical certificate; and
- who can no longer be employed at all or can no longer be employed on a full-time basis;
if, due to absence of staff derived from external decisions related to the coronavirus, such as for example, the new measures issued by the Luxembourg government, a company can no longer operate on an ordinary basis or if, in the same context, one or more departments of the company are completely shut down.
In principle, it applies to all undertakings whatever the sector or activity provided the grounds invoked are directly related to the coronavirus.
2. Support from the Employment Fund
In the event the Comité de Conjoncture admits the application, the Employment Fund covers 80% of the normal salary capped at 250% of the minimum social wage for an unskilled workers for a maximum of 1,022 hours per employee and per year.
Two procedures are targeted due to the coronavirus: (i) an accelerated process for companies directly affected by a government decision and (ii) a partial unemployment scheme "force majeure / coronavirus".
3.1. Accelerated process
Only companies that have had or still have to completely or partially stop their activities following a government decision, such as those referred to by the Grand Ducal Regulation dated March 16, 2020 or subsequent regulations, are eligible for partial unemployment, from the date of entry into force of the government decision following which they had to close, i.e., as from March 16, 2020.
An online system in order to request the reimbursement of hours worked as part of partial unemployment for closure imposed by the government will be available in the coming days on the ADEM website. The companies concerned must wait for this system to be operational in order to submit their reimbursement application, which reimbursement shall run retroactively as from March 16, 2020.
Reimbursement is limited to 80% of the normal salary capped at 250% of the minimum social wage applicable for unskilled workers (i.e. 2,141.99 EUR x 2.5). A monthly statement must be filed with the ADEM.
The companies' applications will be subject to an ex post control: false or fraudulent declarations contained in the applications concerned may give rise to a forced restitution of the amounts unduly paid by the ADEM, without prejudice to any potential legal actions from the government against said companies.
3.2. Force majeure / coronavirus regime
This regime is applicable to companies that remain open but that suffer the negative impact of the coronavirus on their business. They may at any time file an application for the grant of partial unemployment on the ground of "force majeure / coronavirus" with the Secretariat of the Comité de Conjoncture at the Ministry of the Economy.
The form can be downloaded on the following web links: www.adem.lu and www.guichet.public.lu
Requests in this respect received until Friday March 20, 2020 at noon will be dealt with at the ordinary meeting of the Comité de Conjoncture scheduled for Monday 23 March 23 in the morning.
The requests for partial unemployment for cyclical or structural reasons shall also be processed during said meeting.
The companies will be informed in writing of the acceptance or rejection of their request.
Partial unemployment applications must be communicated to the employee representatives and, as far as possible, also bear their signature.
4. Which employees are eligible?
The following employees are eligible for partial unemployment:
(i) employees under an open-ended or fixed-term employment contract legally employed by a company duly established in Luxembourg at the time of unemployment, able to work and aged under 68 years and who do not benefit from an old-age pension, an early old-age pension or an invalidity pension, normally employed at a workplace within the Luxembourg territory and insured as employees with the Luxembourg social security authority (the Centre Commun de la Sécurité Sociale);
(ii) apprentices and people under measures in favor of employment, including, in particular, employment initiation contracts and employment reintegration contracts for the portion of the salary payable by the employer; and
(iii) employees of a.s.b.l. (non-profit associations) whose requests will be analyzed by the government on a case-by-case basis.
The following individuals are excluded from these measures:
(a) temporary workers;
(b) employees currently under a telework regime;
(c) employees benefiting from the leave for family reasons; and
(d) employees of kindergarten.
5. Rules to be observed by employers
- to cease using new fixed-term employment contracts;
- to use the remaining leave the employees may still benefit - for this alternative, it should nevertheless be noted that the employer cannot force the employee to take leave -;
- to cease using temporary workers; and
- to cease using hiring-out.
Companies shall refrain from making their employees redundant - due to economic reasons - during the period the partial unemployment measures apply.