COVID-19: ALEBA’s position on employee support and corporate and state responsibility

Dear ALEBA Members,

Dear Employees of the financial sector and elsewhere,

 

We ask you to take great care of yourself and your loved ones, and if you feel overwhelmed or grieving a death in the family, may you find the strength and the courage to go on.

Like the rest of the world, the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg is dealing with an unprecedented crisis, and we extend our sincere gratitude to the health care professionals and all other essential personnel for their courage and dedication in the extraordinary set of circumstances.

Now is not the time for controversy, speculation or individualism. Now is the time for solidarity and strict observance of guidelines, including those regarding non-essential trips, issued by the relevant authorities.

Given the lifesaving and critical importance of protective masks, ALEBA appeals to businesses to donate to hospitals the surplus of masks and disinfectants.

Corporate and Government responsibility

In line with the CSSF recommendations of March, 22nd, we are urging all companies to limit onsite personnel to the bare minimum, work from home being a must.

Where work from home is not an option, effective means of protection must be used, especially if there is contact with the public. If you believe that the employer does not meet the requirements and puts you at risk, please inform us immediately.

In the light of the unmeasurable humanitarian drama, employers should be aware of and assume their social responsibility. Current contracts must be continued, any idea of economic redundancy must be excluded, opting for partial employment instead, if absolutely necessary.

Beyond these exceptional measures, we also ask companies to abide by the law, abstain from modifications of employment contracts to the disadvantage of employees or imposing holidays during the quarantine period, failing which ALEBA will denounce each and every violation reported by its members. There can be no a social crisis following the health crisis!

More than ever our commitment is to safeguarding jobs, and we urge the state to legislate more firmly. Given the state of emergency allowing the Government to act quickly, ALEBA calls for a moratorium on layoffs with appropriate assistance and incentives extended to businesses.

ALEBA appeals to the German authorities to follow the example of Belgium and France lifting restrictions on work from home.

The future

In the wake of the crisis, it is our strong belief that many of the current practices will be reconsidered or discontinued altogether.

Outsourcing to Asia or Eastern Europe in pursuit of cheap labour and profits cannot continue, local workforce should be used instead.

Equally, ALEBA has been calling for a greater appreciation of ‘small jobs’ – reception staff, couriers, tech support charged with configuration of mobiles and laptops – these are the people who ensure business continuity, and it is time to give credit where credit is due.

A more responsible, fairer, more ecological and more thought-out economy must emerge.

Always by your side

At ALEBA, protecting the health and safety of our Employees is paramount – this is why all our employees are currently working from home, remaining at your disposal to answer all your questions and to share best practices, by email or by phone. In case of absolute emergency an appointment can still be arranged.

Our FAQ section is updated daily, and you will probably find the information you are looking for there. If this is not the case, please send your queries to coordination@aleba.lu. There might be slight delays, and we thank you in advance for your understanding.

A new era of work is dawning, with new challenges and uncertainties. We will face them together, and it is together that we will overcome them, securing your jobs, rights and interests.

 

Laurent Mertz                                                                                 Roberto Mendolia

General Secretary                                                                           President