Short-time working – FAQ

Hotline Chômage partiel: 8002 9191

A.    Chômage partiel – questions générales 

1. How to apply for short-time working?

Applications for short-time working in the event of force majeur in relation to the coronavirus must be submittet via MyGuichet.lu. 

Due to the current situation, applications for short-time working in the event of force majeure in relation to the coronavirus for the months of May and June may exceptionally be submitted until 15 June 2020.

A new form is being developed for applications for short-time working for the month of July. It will be available on MyGuichet around 20 June 2020.

2. Should all the company's staff be on short-time working or only part of the staff?

The short-time working scheme applies only to employees who are obliged to reduce their work partially or to stop working completely when the company can no longer ensure the normal functioning of its business because of the coronavirus.

The company may therefore choose to apply short-time working only for part of the staff within a department or service.

3. Does the employee have to be on short-time working for the whole month?

No. The employee may be on short-time work for part of the month only.

4. Can an employee alternate a period of actual work (onsite or homeoffice) with a period of short-time working?

Yes, as the company has not completely stopped its activity but is facing a decrease in its activities due to the coronavirus, it is possible that the employee may work full days or half-days or certain hours in onsite or in homeoffice.

However, only days, half-days or hours that are not worked will be covered by the short-time working scheme. On the other hand, periods of actual work (onsite or in homeoffice) are not covered by short-time working.

5. Can an employee who is on a fixed-term contract, benefit from short-time working?

Yes, however, this eligibility will be limited to the duration of the contract normally foreseen and will not apply to a possible renewal of a fixed-term contract or to new contracts concluded during the period of partial unemployment.

On the other hand, a fixed-term contract that is immediately followed by a permanent contract makes the employee eligible for short-time working.

6. Can an employee benefit form short-time working if the contract was concluded before the occurence of short-time working but does not take effect until after the occurrence of short-time working?

Yes, from the moment the employment contract takes effect.

7. May an employee who has just come back from sick leave benefit from short-time working?

Yes, if the company and the employee meet the other conditions for short-time working.

8. May an employee who has just come back from parental leave benefit from short-time working?

Yes, if the company and the employee meet the other conditions for short-time work.

9. Can an apprentice benefit from short-time working?

Short-time working is not applicable for apprentices. 

Exceptionnally, an apprentice could benefit from short-time working under the COVID-19 short-time working scheme (18 March to 30 June). The short-time working compensation to be paid by the employer to the apprentice has been set at 80% of the apprenticeship allowance for an initial apprentice and at 100% of the social minimum wage an adult apprentice.

In the case of an adult apprentice, the training company continues to pay the apprentice the minimum social wage for unskilled workers. The difference between the compensation allowance for short-time working and the minimum social wage is reimbursed to the training company by the Employment Fund.  This reimbursement will be made via the monthly short-time working statement available on Guichet.lu.

 

 

10. Can an apprentice whose apprenticeship contract expires during the period of short-time working and who is employed afterwards by the company with an open-ended contract benefit from short-time working?

Yes, an apprentice (initial or adult) whose apprenticeship contract expires during the period of health crisis and who is taken over by his training company on basis of a permanent contract can benefit from short-time working beyond the end of the apprenticeship contract.

 

11. How is the short-time working allowance calculated that the employer must pay to the employee?

The rate of the statutory compensation allowance is set at 80% of the employee's normal gross hourly wage, but may not exceed the amount of 250% of the social minimum hourly wage payable to an unskilled employee over the age of eighteen (currently EUR 5,354.98 on a monthly basis at index 834.76).

The normal hourly wage is to be understood and counted separately:

1) the highest basic wage which forms part of the base applied during one of the three calendar months preceding the start of the period of short-time working ; 

2) the average of the salary supplements and accessories which form part of the bases for the twelve calendar months preceding the month before the occurrence of the short-time working.

Definition: The supplements and accessories that form the basis of the compensation allowance are all elements of remuneration payable monthly in cash, with the exception of remuneration for overtime and the increases provided for by contractual, legal or regulatory provisions. 

If this reference period is not fully covered by an activity subject to insurance, the average is calculated on the basis of the fully covered calendar months. 

In the absence of a single fully covered month, the basic salary as well as the supplements and accessories are taken into account according to their value agreed in the employment contract.

If the above calculation indicates a compensation allowance for short-time working lower than the social minimum wage for unskilled employees, the employer must pay the social minimum wage. This provision starts as of 16 March and will apply during the COVID-19 crisis.

Important: 

Employers are still required to pay wages within the statutory time limits, regardless of the reimbursement of the compensation allowance paid by ADEM.

The compensation allowance reimbursed by ADEM to companies can only be used to pay the salary and under no circumstances to pay other expenses.

 

12. What is the level of reimbursement to which the employer is entitled in order to compensate the allowances paid during short-time working?

The legal compensation indemnity advanced by the employer is reimbursed by the Employment Fund. Unlike the schemes for involuntary lay-offs due to bad weather and accidental or involuntary technical unemployment, the first 16 hours are also reimbursed by the Employment Fund.

Reimbursement is limited to the legal indemnity to which the employee affected by short-time working is entitled, which is limited to 250% of the minimum hourly social wage payable to an unskilled employee over the age of eighteen (currently EUR 5,354.98 on a monthly basis at index 834.76).

If, as provided for in question 11, the rate of the social minimum wage for unskilled employees replaces the compensation allowance, any difference between the amount of the compensation allowance and the social minimum wage for unskilled employees is reimbursed to the employer by the Employment Fund during the period from 18 March 2020 (the beginning of the state of health crisis) until 31 December 2020.

The compensation allowance is subject to the social and tax charges generally provided for in respect of wages, with the exception, however, of accident insurance contributions and contributions due in respect of family benefits.

Employers' social security contributions remain at the expense of the employer. This also applies to the difference between the amount of the compensatory allowance and the non-qualified minimum wage. The employer's contributions will not be reimbursed. 

13. Can an employee who should be covered by the short-time working scheme be granted leave for family reasons?

No, short-time working takes precedence over leave for family reasons. Since the employee who is affected by short-time working is in principle released from any work, he or she is available to care for a dependent child without having to resort to family leave.

For this reason it is obvious that the employee who is on short-time working is not entitled to family leave. The same applies to an employee whose partner or spouse is on short-time and therefore available to look after the common child or a child belonging to the same household.

Only if the employee is asked by the company to work, he or she can make use of leave for family reasons. 

 

 

14. Can a self-employed person or a freelancer benefit form short-time working?

No, not for the self-employed person. But the employees he employs are eligible.

In the context of the recovery from the Covid-19 crisis, the Ministry of the Economy has set up a number of financial aids for small businesses and self-employed persons

 

 

15. Can employees on short-time working participate in training measures?

Yes, if the employee participates in vocational training during short-time working, the compensation allowance will be at least 90% of the salary normally received.

N.B.: Since participation in continuing training measures was not possible during the health crisis, an increase in the compensation rate to 90% did not exist under the short-time working scheme in case of force majeure due to the corona crisis (18 March - 30 June 2020).

 

16. Is there a maximum limit of the coverage by short-time working?

Yes, the reduction in working time covered by the short-time working scheme cannot currently exceed 1,022 hours per calendar year per full-time employee. For employees working part-time the 1,022 hours are pro-rated.

 

17. Can an employee seconded abroad benefit from short-time working?

Yes, a seconded employee who is affiliated to the Luxembourg social security system can benefit from  short-time working if he is employed by a company legally established in Luxembourg and his normal place of work is in Luxembourg.

 

18. Can an employee seconded form abroad to a Luxembourg company benefit form short-time working?

No. As this employee is not affiliated as an employee to the Luxembourg social security system, he does not meet the conditions for benefiting from short-time working.

 

19. Which employees will be eligible for the new short-time working scheme?

The short-time working scheme due to structural economic problems can be applied to all employees whose place of work is located in Luxembourg, whether they are on permanent or fixed-term contracts. Short-time working is not applicable to apprentices, trainees, temporary workers or employees on notice of dismissal.

Employees who have been dismissed before the occurrence of short-time working and whose notice period falls during the period of short-time working are not entitled to short-time working. Thus, the employer must continue to pay 100% of the salary and will not be reimbursed by the State.

Dismissal during the period of short-time working is only possible for personal reasons. In this case, the employee in question is no longer eligible for short-time working. The employer must continue to pay 100% of the salary and will not be reimbursed.

Please note: Employees who receive an old-age pension, an early old-age pension or a disability pension are not eligible for short-time working.

 

 

20. How much is the compensation reimbursed to the companies?

During the period of short-time working, the State shall pay the compensation indemnity of 80% of the wages. Reimbursement is limited to 250% of the social minimum wage for unskilled workers aged 18 or over.

Between 18 March 2020 and 31 December 2020, this compensation indemnity cannot be less than the amount of the minimum social minimum wage for unskilled workers. Any difference between the amount of the compensation indemnity and the minimum social minimum wage for unskilled workers will be borne by the Employment Fund.

 

 

21. Is there a deadline to submit the application for short-time working?

In view of the current situation, applications for short-time working for cases of force majeure linked to the coronavirus crisis for the months of May and June may exceptionally be submitted until 15 June 2020. 

A new form is being developed for applications for short-time working for the month of July.

It will be available on MyGuichet around 20 June 2020.

The deadline for the July 2020 application will be communicated as soon as the new application form will be online.  

 

22. May jobseekers hired under an CIE, CAE or CRE contract be entitled to short-time working?

CIEs, CAEs and CREs are not eligible for short-time working.

Exceptionally, during short-time working in the event of force majeure in relation with the coronavirus (18 March - 30 June 2020), the Fonds pour l'Emploi took over the employers' contributions in the framework CRE, CIE and CAE contracts..

23. Can a foreign based company with employers affiliated to the CCSS in Luxembourg benefit from short-time working?

Only companies that are legally established in Luxembourg can benefit from short-time working. These companies therefore require a physical address in Luxembourg. The short-time working allowance is reimbursed only for employees who

  • are legally employed with a company legally established on the territory of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg;
  • are normally employed at a place of work situated in the territory of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg;
  • are insured as employees with Luxembourg’ s social security (CCSS).

The Law of 2 September 2011 (Art. 5) regulating access to the professions in the crafts, trade and indstury secotr as well as to certain liberal professions, defines the criteria for establishment in Luxembourg.

24. Are employees on parental leave eligible for short-time working?

Many companies think that employees on parental leave cannot benefit from short-time working at all. However, this is only the case for those who are on full-time parental leave. Employees who are on part-time parental leave or split parental leave can benefit from short-time workinig for the working hours normally worked.

 

25. Public holiday during short-time working: How does it work?

If a public holiday falls during the period of short-time work, this day can be compensated under certain conditions:

a) Companies that can no longer operate due to a government decision and in which all employees are on short-time working:

  • The public holiday is compensated for short-time work at a minimum rate of 80%. Thus, the employer will pay his employee 80% of his gross hourly wage and will be reimbursed 80% by the Employment Fund.

(b) Enterprises that continue to work and in which some of the employees have been placed on short-time working:

  • Employees who are on short-time working on the day before as well as the day after the public holiday are entitled to short-time working compensation for the public holiday. The employer will pay the employee at least 80% of his/her gross hourly wage and will be reimbursed 80% by the Employment Fund.
  • For employees who do not meet the above criteria, the employer must pay them 100% for the public holiday.

 

B.    Statement (Décompte)

1. How to introduce the detailed statement for short-time working?

The statement must be submitted  via MyGuichet.lu. 

The statement for a given month can only be made after having received an email or letter sent by ADEM to the employer or to his representative. It contains the reference number for the statement related to the application for short-time working: "CHP2020XXXXXXXXXXXX". 

 

 

2. What is the deadline for the submission of the monthly statement?

The employer has a period of 3 months following the month in which the short-time working occured.

For example, for a request for partial unemployment in March 2020, the employer must have submitted his count by 30 June 2020 at the latest.

3. How to introduce the statement for short-time working?

After the end of the month in which short-time working occurs, businesses must complete, within 3 months, an online procedure on MyGuichet.lu so that ADEM can draw up a statement.

The declarant also has the possibility of downloading an XML list before starting the procedure on MyGuichet.lu.

In practice, for each month of short-time working, the employer or his representative receives an email/mail from ADEM inviting him to fill in the online form.

On this form, only the names and national identification numbers of the employees and/or apprentices concerned will need to be filled in. ADEM will receive the other necessary data from the Joint Social Security Centre (CCSS).

C.    Short-time working in the event of force majeure in relation with the coronavirus (in force between 18 March 2020 and 30 June 2020)

1. When does the protection against dismissal of employees in short-time work cease?

As soon as short-time working ends, a dismissal for reasons not related to the individual can be pronounced in accordance with the legal procedures and deadlines.

 

2. What about trial periods for employees in short-time working?

For the companies directly affected by the closure decisions taken by the Government and for those admitted to the short-time working scheme in cases of force majeure Covid-19, the trial clause provided for in an apprenticeship contract, an open-ended employment contract, a fixed-term employment contract or an assignment contract is suspended by derogation from Articles L. 111-3, L. 121-5, L. 122-11 and L. 131-7 of the Labour Code as from the effective date of the Government decision respectively of the admission of the employee concerned to this special partial unemployment scheme.

Source: http://www.legilux.lu/eli/etat/leg/rgd/2020/04/01/a223/jo

 

3. What employees' data must be entered when submitting the statement via MyGuichet?

Only the names and social security numbers (matricules) of the employees and apprentices affected by short-time working will be requested from the employer.

In order to calculate the amount to be paid by the State, ADEM will base itself on the declarations made to the Joint Social Security Centre (Centre Commun de la Sécurité Sociale - CCSS) relating to the hours on short-time working and the amount paid during short-time working. 

If your company has not made the declaration of the hours spent on short-time working and the amount of short-time working allowances, the statement cannot be processed and the advance paid by ADEM must be reimbursed in full. 

To avoid this situation, you must make or, if necessary, rectify the declaration to the Joint Social Security Centre (CCSS) as soon as possible and, in any case, before proceeding with this statement. More information is available on the CCSS website: https://ccss.public.lu/fr/actualites/2020/05/14.html

 

4. What shall I do if I have received an advance payment but I had no workers in short-time working during the month in question?

In any case, you must submit a statement by answering negatively to the question: "Have you had employees affected by short-time working?"

5. How does the settlement of the statement work?

Depending on the number of statement introduced, it may be that the statement will not be processed untilJuly 2020. Each monthly statement will be processed separately. The employer will be informed by ADEM :

  • either of the outstanding balance, in case the compensation payment is higher than the advance received;
  • or of the amount overpaid to be returned if the advance was greater than the compensation paid by the State.

The employer will receive a detailed statement for each month concerned.

6. Is it possible to change the bank account when submitting the statement?

No, any outstanding balance will be paid to the bank account used for the advance payment.

7. Can an employee interrupt his parental leave exceptionally to come to work if necessary?

Yes, given the current context of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is exceptionally possible for an employee, on the basis of an agreement with the employer and the social security, to interrupt a parental leave currently in progress in the event of a professional obligation and the need to return to work.

As the interruption of the leave is considered to be motivated by an external cause, the compensation already received will not be refunded.

The portion of parental leave remaining at the time of interruption may, subject to the employer's agreement, be taken at the end of the interruption.

To request the interruption of parental leave, a form available at www.cae.lu must be completed and sent to the Luxembourg Future Fund (Caisse pour l’avenir des enfants).

8. Which documents should be attached to the monthly statement?

In the current state of crisis, the individual forms, the declaration of claim and the statement of amounts payable by the State are no longer required. 

If necessary, a statement signed by the staff delegation certifying that the delegation has read the statement and the list of employees affected by short-time working should be attached to the statement.

 

9. How high are the compensation payments for employees who are on sick leave during their period of short-time working?

An employee who is incapable to work (sick leave) during a period short-time working is entitled to 100% of his/her salary. 

From 1 April until the end of the month in which the state of crisis ends, the health insurance will directly cover incapacity for work for employees and non-employees. Consequently, these days of sick leave will be reimbursed at 100% by the CNS (and no longer at 80% by the Mutualité des Employeurs) and these days will not be taken into account in determining the risk class of companies with the Mutualité des Employeurs.

 

10. Do apprentices have to return to work on the same date as other workers, for example on construction sites on 20.04.2020?

No, apprentices are only allowed to return to work when their schooling resumes. Apprentices on construction sites are therefore not required to return to work on Monday 20.04. However, they remain eligible for short-time working during the period in which they are not allowed to work.

11. Is a construction company obliged to take up work directly on 20.04. and thus losing its rights to short-time working?

No, a company that has had its application for short-time working accepted for the month of April is entitled to short-time working for the whole month provided that there is a valid reason (e.g. lack of materials, no guarantee of safety) for not being able to return to work after the official reopening of the construction sites.

However, the employer must notify the Comité de conjoncture of the days on which the employees worked via the online monthly statement form. 

 

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