April 2018 - Luxembourg Employment News
A new administrative obligation for employers which has (almost) discreetly settled in
The law of 14 March 20171 (hereafter the “Law”), which entered into force on 24 March 2017, has received a great deal of attention because it transposed the European directive 2014/67/EU of 15 May 20142 , which specified a stricter framework for the posting of workers in the context of the provision of transnational services.
However, the new obligations set up by the Law are not limited to employers involved in the posting of workers.
Indeed, whilst Article L.142-3 of the Labour Code now requires posting companies to indicate “the start, end and duration of daily work for the entire duration of the posting of employees on Luxembourg territory”3, the Law simultaneously amended Article L.211-29 of the Labour Code, which, on the contrary, applies to all employers.
This Article stipulated that:
“The employer is required to record in a special register or in a file all overtime, all hours worked on Sundays, on statutory holidays or at night, as well as the remuneration paid thereunder. This register or file shall be submitted at any request from the Labour Inspectorate (Inspection du Travail et des Mines)”4.
From now on, however, employers must also record in this special register “the start, end and duration of the daily work”5 .
It should be noted, though, that according to Article L.211-3 of the Labour Code this new legislative constraint does not apply to higher-ranking employees “whose presence in the company is essential to ensure its smooth operation and supervision”6 . Thus, it seems that the scope of this exemption is reduced, since the notion of higher-ranking employees is given a stricter definition than the one referred to in Articles L. 162-8 (3) and L. 211-27 (5).
These articles define higher-ranking employees as employees who have at their disposal:
- a salary that is significantly higher than the average base salary of other employees;
- genuine and effective management power or tasks that constitutes a clearly defined authority;
- substantial independence in the organisation;
- substantial working time independence.
A wise employer will therefore ensure that the higher-ranking employees to whom it will not apply the “sign-in system” obligation are indeed higher-ranking employees as contemplated by the exemption set up by the above-mentioned Article L.211-3 of the Labour code.
The reason behind this new obligation, which aggravates the administrative burden on employers, is “to guarantee equal treatment between the employers posting employees to the Luxembourg territory and Luxembourg resident employers, in terms of keeping records on employees' working time”7 .
This increase in obligations imposed on employers, who already had plenty, was denounced by the Luxembourg Chamber of Commerce, during the legislative process, in the following terms:
“The obligation imposed on all Luxembourg resident employers to record daily, in the register provided for in Article L.211-29 of the Labour Code, the start, end and duration of the daily work of all their employees, whether or not they have been posted, is both excessive in terms of the administrative burden and unjustified”8.
Despite all of this, the draft Article was not amended and the new rules imposed on employers by Article L.211-29 of the Labour Code came into force.
We can only wonder about the intentions of the legislator in imposing this additional administrative burden on Luxembourg employers under the pretext of equal treatment with posting companies, which is, all things considered, rather delusive.
In addition, sanctions may apply. In the event of failure to set up this register or keep it up to date, employers may be sentenced to fines ranging from EUR 251 to EUR 15,000.
Looking forward, what remains to be assessed is the extent to which the Labour Inspectorate will carry out specific inspections and impose sanctions or if, on the contrary, it will be rather understanding.
1 Law of 14 March 2017 amending the Labour Code and amending Article 3 of the Law of 17 June 1994 laying down measures to ensure continued employment, price stability and competitiveness of companies.
2Directive 2014/67/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 15 May 2014 on the enforcement of Directive 96/71/EC concerning the posting of workers in the framework of the provision of services and amending Regulation (EU) No 1024/2012 on administrative cooperation through the Internal Market Information System (the “IMI Regulation”).
3Free translation of “les pointages indiquant le début, la fin et la durée du travail journalier pour toute la durée du détachement sur le territoire luxembourgeois”.
4Free translation of “L’employeur est tenu d’inscrire sur un registre spécial ou sur un fichier toutes les prolongations de la durée normale du travail, les heures prestées les dimanches, les jours fériés légaux ou la nuit ainsi que les rétributions payées de l’un ou de l’autre de ces chefs. Ce registre ou fichier est à présenter à toute demande de la part des agents de l’Inspection du travail et des mines”.
5Free translation of “le début, la fin et la durée du travail journalier”.
6Free translation of “dont la présence à l’entreprise est indispensable pour en assurer le bon fonctionnement et la surveillance”.
7Draft law n°6989 amending Article 3 of the law of 17 June 1994, laying down measures to ensure continued employment, price stability and the competitiveness of companies, free translation of “L’obligation faite à tous les employeurs résidents de renseigner quotidiennement, dans le registre prévu à l’article L.211-29 du Code du travail, le début, la fin et la durée du travail journalier de tous leurs salariés, que ceux-ci soient détachés ou non, est à la fois excessive sur le plan de la charge administrative et non justifiée”.
8Draft law n°6989 amending Article 3 of the law of 17 June 1994, laying down measures to ensure continued employment, price stability and the competitiveness of companies, free translation of “L’obligation faite à tous les employeurs résidents de renseigner quotidiennement, dans le registre prévu à l’article L.211-29 du Code du travail, le début, la fin et la durée du travail journalier de tous leurs salariés, que ceux-ci soient détachés ou non, est à la fois excessive sur le plan de la charge administrative et non justifiée”.