Introduction

Bill 7016 concerning the Organisation of Working Time and relating to the Amendment of the Labour Code was submitted to the Chamber of Deputies on July 21 2016.(1) The bill aims to:

  • provide companies with greater flexibility regarding the organisation of working time;
  • protect employee health and safety; and
  • upgrade collective bargaining agreement negotiations.

In this context, the amendments that the bill introduced mainly concern the organisation of working time and flexible hours.

Organisation of working time

Collective bargaining agreement Where a working hours plan is developed within the context of a collective bargaining agreement, the parties are free to determine the plan's principles, duration, content and terms.

No collective bargaining agreement In the absence of a collective bargaining agreement, the following rules apply to working hours plans:

  • The plan's reference period can be extended for up to four months. Before the reference period is extended, the employer must provide information to and consult with the staff delegation or, in the absence of a delegation, the employees concerned. The decision will be valid for 24 months and subject to tacit renewal. The requirement to obtain ministerial authorisation has been abolished.
  • Employees must be allocated additional annual leave where the reference period is increased by more than one month.
  • Employers must provide information to and consult with the staff delegation or, in the absence of a delegation, the employees concerned, no later than five full days before a working hours plan will take effect.
  • The work planning must cover at least one month of the reference period, but does not have to cover the entire reference period. Further, work planning can be done on a monthly basis.
  • The bill has established new overtime criteria based on when employees are informed that they must work extra hours.Where employees are notified of a change to their agreed working hours plan at least three days before they are required to work, they will not automatically receive payment for overtime. Where employees are notified of the change less than three days before they are required to work, they will receive no payment for overtime where the difference in working time is two hours or less, as this is defined as 'marginal'. Where the change in working time equals two hours or more, employees will automatically qualify for overtime and be compensated with time in lieu or additional pay calculated at a rate of 20% of their normal hourly rate.
  • Employees can, on compelling and justified grounds, refuse to work where they are notified of changes to their agreed working hours plan less than three days before they are required to work. In cases of disagreement, the case can be referred to the Inspectorate of Labour and Mines.
  • Maximum thresholds have been established for the calculation of normal monthly working time for reference periods exceeding one month, beyond which any work is considered overtime:
    • A threshold of 12.5% of employees' monthly working hours has been introduced for reference periods between one and three months.
    • A threshold of 10% of employees' monthly working hours has been introduced for reference periods exceeding three months.

Flexible hours

Under the bill, flexitime can be agreed in a collective bargaining agreement, subordinated agreement or joint agreement between the employer and the staff delegation or, in the absence of a delegation, the employees concerned.

For further information on this topic please contact Guy Castegnaro or Ariane Claverie at Castegnaro by telephone (+352 26 86 82 1) or email (guy.castegnaro@castegnaro.lu or ariane.claverie@castegnaro.lu). The Castegnaro website can be accessed at www.castegnaro.lu.

(1) Further details are available here.

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