ALEBA challenges the Government

At the social elections in March 2019, ALEBA developed a 20-point electoral programme as its roadmap for the 2019–2024 term. There are several points that require prompt action by the government for greater social justice, equality and well-being.

1. To require a legal framework for Collective Agreements

ALEBA notes that an increasing number of employers are circumventing the law on social plans in favour of collective agreements which offer much less protection for employees.

There is an urgent need to create a legal framework to ensure the presence of trade unions to negotiate collective agreements, which would be made mandatory as of the first instance of dismissals for economic reasons.

ALEBA also calls on the government to reform the law on mass redundancies to make the procedure more transparent, and to lower the legal thresholds for imposing a social plan.

2. To uncompromisingly ensure compliance with legal rules, from Labour Code to Case Law

At the moment, ABBL and ACA are adhering to a hypocritical reading of the collective labour agreements they themselves negotiated, ignoring the spirit of the law, the wording of the text and the reasons that led to additional leave for senior citizens, for example. They are refusing to grant a 26th day of additional leave to employees over 50 years of age. It is unacceptable that employers’ associations are making a mockery of the government like this.

ALEBA requests clarification of the law taking into account the Collective Agreements, preventing any interpretation that disadvantages the employees covered.

In addition, on 14 May the Court of Justice of the EU issued a judgment in case number C-55/18 asking Member States to require employers to set up an objective, reliable and accessible system of registering the effective daily working time per employer.

ALEBA calls on the government to quickly implement this obligation and to make the presence of staff delegations mandatory throughout the process.

3. To require the negotiation of collective labour agreements in all sectors that are not covered or for specific employee groups

ALEBA calls on the government to legislate to require the negotiation of a CLA in sectors that are still not covered, such as investment funds. In addition, in order to prevent senior executives from being wrongly classified outside CLAs, legislation must be enacted to ensure that collective agreements automatically apply to senior executives (Article L.162-8(2) of the Luxembourg Labour Code). In this way, CLAs can be refined according to the status of employees while ensuring equal treatment for all employees in the same sector.

4. To legislate on bullying and burnout

ALEBA believes that action is needed on three fronts:

i. require executives to undergo continuous training in management techniques in order to raise awareness and prevent any form of bullying and psychosocial risks.

ii. legislate to require an external and independent ombudsman or an external and independent mediation body to investigate as soon as a harassment complaint is filed.

iii. as is already the case in other European countries, legislate to have psychosocial risks (burnout, etc.) recognised as occupational illnesses.

5. To establish a right to switch off

ALEBA calls for talks to be held to define a framework for the use of smartphones and remote log-ins, and to establish a right to switch off for individuals on a daily basis.

6. To support initiatives that aim to promote new forms of employment (teleworking, telecommuting, flexible working time).

For ALEBA, it is obvious that the best solution to combat mobility problems is to allow each employee, if their occupation and role allow it, to limit daily travel by promoting teleworking or telecommuting. We ask that the government further support these employees by negotiating with the governments of border countries and offering tax incentives to companies, for example. Flexible schedules to avoid travel during peak hours should also be encouraged.

 

Carte blanche of 14/08/2019 published on paperjam.lu

Photo of Roberto Mendolia: Nader Ghavami, Paperjam