EMPLOYMENT

Employment in Luxembourg

The Luxembourg labour market is currently relatively healthy and has seen an increase in salaried employment. The current unemployment rate of 6% is lower than the European average.

 

Foreign workforce

Luxembourg’s labour force is unique: 71% of all jobs are occupied by foreigners of which 95% are citizens of the Member States of the European Union.
The high number of non-Luxembourg workers is evident in almost all domains. In sectors such as the catering, hotel and construction sectors, the number of foreigners has even exceeded 90%.

 

Cross-border workers

Since 1985, the Grand Duchy has been an important employment hub for cross-border workers. Every morning approximately 165,000 people (compared with 91,000 in 2000) from the neighbouring countries travel to Luxembourg to work.
Around 44% of salaried employees are cross-border workers with 50% originating from France, 25% from Belgium and 25% from Germany.

 

Main employment hub

50% of employment is carried out in the capital of the Grand Duchy which is known in Luxembourgish as ʻd’Stadtʼ.
Kirchberg, a suburb of the city and the seat of several European Institutions, plays host to numerous large international companies, banks and other commercial undertakings which have set up their headquarters there.

 

Main economic activity

The Luxembourg economy is based to a large extent on the financial sector which contributes almost one third of the national GDP and is also an important provider of tax revenues.
This is the most dominant sector employing 17% of the total workforce.
The Grand Duchy is currently the second largest investment funds centre in the world after the United States and the leading private banking centre in the Eurozone.

 

Sectors undergoing expansion

Aware of the country’s economic dependence on the financial sector, the Luxembourg government has increasingly invested in activities such as Information and Communications Technology (ICT), e-commerce, media, logistics, the environment, health and research.
Large companies such as eBay, Skype, Amazon, Netflix and Innova are already established in Luxembourg.

 

Research opportunities

Although Luxembourg is well-known for its financial sector, its sizeable investments in the domain of research are less renowned.
The Luxembourg State has invested increasingly in research projects and encourages the creation of scientific and technological jobs in the domains of biomedicine, the environment and materials in particular.
The programmes ATTRACT and PEARL of the Luxembourg National Research Fund (FNR) are intended to attract exceptional researchers on an international level.

 

Highly qualified workers

Highly qualified workers who are citizens of third countries and who wish to come to Luxembourg to exercise a professional activity benefit from simplified procedures in respect of qualifying for obtaining residence permits.

 

Child-care facilities

Maintaining a balance between professional and family life is possible in Luxembourg!
The number of creches, day-care centres and other structures for looking after children has increased dramatically.
Over the past ten years, the number of places available in these establishments has increased sixfold. This development is particularly beneficial for families and means that parents have good chances of finding affordable creches or other day-care centres while they work.

 

The Find a Job guide provides you with practical and concrete information on Luxembourg’s employment sectors as well as the sought-after profiles. Check out chapter 10 ʻEmployment sectorsʼ.

Why work in Luxembourg?

International environment

Foreigners account for 47% of the Luxembourg population of 576,000 and this proportion is constantly increasing. The greatest number of foreign nationals, i.e. 85%, are citizens of the Member States of the 28 European Union countries with the Portuguese forming the largest group (16%) followed by the French (7%). These two communities combined make up half the foreign population.

 

Cultural diversity

With its 170 nationalities, Luxembourg is without doubt the most multicultural and cosmopolitan country in the world. Of the 110,500 residents of the capital city 70% are foreigners with 160 different nationalities.
The most represented foreign nationalities in the country are Portuguese (16%), French (7%), Italian (4%), Belgian (3%) and German (2%).

 

Plurilingual education system

There are few countries in the world where multilingualism is such an integral part of daily life. In Luxembourg, language learning starts early and the number of languages mastered by children is particularly impressive. Via the system of plurilingual education at state schools, children of schoolgoing age are in daily contact with four languages:
  • Luxembourgish (national language, used mostly in spoken communication);
  • German (language of literacy);
  • French (from age 8);
  • English (from age 13).
Not to mention other languages spoken at home.
As for Luxembourgish adults, it goes without saying that the majority speak at least three languages: Luxembourgish, German and French.

 

Central geographical situation

Situated between France, Belgium and Germany, the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg is located at the heart of Europe in close proximity to the large European metropolises.
London, Paris, Brussels, Zurich and Berlin are all only an hour’s flight away. Luxembourg’s Findel airport is 15 minutes from the centre of the capital. Furthermore, via the East European High Speed Line (LGV Est), Paris can be reached in 2 hours and 10 minutes from Luxembourg.

 

Close proximity to neighbouring countries

The borders of the neighbouring countries are only a few minutes’ drive away. From Luxembourg city the distances are as follows:
  • 20 km to the French border;
  • 20 km to the Belgian border;
  • 25 km to the German border.

 

Exceptional cultural offer

Whatever your taste in culture, be it classical music, theatre, opera, cinema, rock music / jazz / blues / pop or modern art, Luxembourg’s cultural life is rich and extremely varied.
Concerts given by international stars are an everyday reality of the cultural landscape. The country has a very modern infrastructure which is also interesting from an architectural point of view. Be sure to check out the Philharmonie, the Rockhal and Mudam (Museum of Modern Art).
Many music festivals are organised throughout the year: Echternach International Festival, Blues Express, Wiltz Festival, Summer in the City, etc.

 

Between nature and the city

One of the most attractive features of Luxembourg is its forests. One third of the territory of the Grand Duchy, i.e. 34%, is covered by beautiful woods which are extremely well tended.
Wherever you live in Luxembourg, you are never far from a forest. In only a few minutes it is possible to leave behind your daily routine and find natural tranquillity. In the forest, surprises are the order of the day: picnic spots and smartly arranged barbecue areas, playgrounds for children, wooden chalets and other attractions are all provided for nature lovers, sometimes seemingly in the middle of nowhere.
The national network of cycling tracks is made up of 23 tracks which extend over a distance of 600 km and pass through the most beautiful spots in the Grand Duchy. Don’t miss out on Luxembourg’s Petite Suisse!
The national network of cycling tracks is made up of 23 tracks which extend over a distance of 600 km and pass through the most beautiful spots in the Grand Duchy. Don’t miss out on Luxembourg’s Petite Suisse!

 

Demographic growth

The population of Luxembourg, one of the smallest countries in the European Union, is constantly growing. On 1 January 2016, the country had acquired 13,000 inhabitants more than the previous year bringing the total population to 576,000. This growth is mainly a result of immigration.1
According to predictions made by Eurostat, in 2060 the Luxembourg population will reach 728,000, i.e. an increase of nearly 30% over the current rate. This increase will be the second largest in the European Union after Ireland. Germany by contrast will undergo considerable demographic decline and will have a population of only 66 million people in 2060 as opposed to 81 million in 2016.

Working conditions in Luxembourg

Working hours

Normal working hours are 8 hours per day and 40 hours per week, i.e. 173 hours per month. In certain cases, these working hours can be extended although they may not exceed 10 hours per day or 48 hours per week.
As regards work on Sunday or at night-time, employers are obliged to comply with certain rules.

 

Work contracts

At the latest on the day on which you start work with an employer, you must sign the work contract which is drawn up in two copies, i.e. one for you and one for your employer.
There are two types of contract: Permanent contracts and Fixed-term contracts.
Unlike the fixed-term contract, the permanent contract does not provide for any predetermined termination date and may be terminated at any moment, unilaterally or by common agreement. Its content must indicate among others your position, the length of the contract, a detailed breakdown of remuneration (salary and bonuses), the length of the trial period, paid leave and the notice period which applies in the event of termination of the contract.

 

Trial period

Each work contract provides for a trial period during which the employer may terminate the contract especially if he finds that the person recruited does not suit the company. A serious attitude is therefore required in relation to your new employer from the outset and you should try to show all your skills.
The trial period lasts for a minimum of 2 weeks and may not exceed 6 months.

 

Annual leave

As a salaried employee, you are entitled to annual leave of at least 25 working days per year, i.e. 5 weeks per year. You are entitled to leave once you have worked for at least 3 months for an employer.
Public holidays:
  • New Year’s Day
  • Easter Monday
  • 1 May
  • Ascension Day
  • Whit Monday
  • 23 June (National Day)
  • Assumption Day
  • All Saints’ Day
  • Christmas (1st and 2nd day)

 

The Find a Job guide provides you with details on maternity and parental leave as well as on unemployment benefits. Check out Chapter 13 ʻEmployee’s rightsʼ.

Living in Luxembourg


Do you want to take up residence in Luxembourg?
In that case make sure that you have proof of:
  • Paid employment (as a salaried employee or self-employed worker) or proof of sufficient resources;
  • Registration with a public or private educational institution (students);
  • Accommodation (lease agreement, deed of purchase or proof of free accommodation);
  • Health insurance for yourself and the members of your family.

 

Free movement and immigration

The conditions for entry onto the territory of Luxembourg are linked both to the duration of the intended stay as well as the citizenship of the person concerned.
  • Citizens of the European Union (EU)
As an EU citizen, you benefit from freedom of movement allowing you to reside and work in any country of the EU, including Luxembourg. For a short stay of up to 3 months, no administrative procedure is necessary.
  • Non EU-citizens
For any stay longer than 3 months, ensure that you apply for a temporary residence permit (type D visa or long-stay visa) in your home country before travelling to Luxembourg.

 

The Find a Job guide provides you with information on how to become a resident and/or to apply for a residence permit (for non EU-citizens). See Chapter 6 ʻWorking in Luxembourgʼ.

Finding a job in Luxembourg

National Employment Agency (ADEM)

Any person who is authorised to work in Luxembourg can register as a job seeker with the National Employment Agency (ADEM). The ADEM provides with free services and is a public administration which orientates, advises and assists residents in finding employment.
The ADEM is made up of seven agencies which are located in Luxembourg City, Esch-sur-Alzette, Differdange, Dudelange, Diekirch, Wiltz and Wasserbillig.
To register with the ADEM, you must contact the agency responsible for your place of residence. Once you are registered, you will be able to access all the employment offer declared at the ADEM available online via its JobBoard and benefit from the numerous services offered by the agency, including:
  • Individual coaching during your jobsearch;
  • Career counselling;
  • Access to the JobBoard to consult vacant positions and to manage your applications;
  • Participation in employment initiatives and training courses;
  • Payment of unemployment benefits (subject to conditions);
  • Access to other financial aid depending on your profile.

 

JobBoards

A number of websites called JobBoards publish job offers on a daily basis.
These websites are practical as they allow you to search for specific positions and domains. They provide you with many tools to optimise your research and enable you to create a profile or a CV, etc.
If you are looking for new professional opportunities in Luxembourg, you can register for free with jobs.lu which will enable you to:
  • Create your profile and make it visible to recruiters;
  • Register for the job alert to receive job offers by email which correspond to your profile;
  • Apply directly for the positions in a few clicks with desktop, mobile and tablet.

 

Social network

More and more companies are using social networks such as LinkedIn, Viadeo, Facebook, Xing, Twitter, Instagram or Plaxo.
In order to optimise your job search, it is important to make yourself visible on the internet. Social media enable you to develop your contacts who in turn may help you to find work. In addition, you will be able to interact directly with representatives of recruiting companies which interest you.

 

 

The Find a Job guide provides you with practical and concrete information on how to find a job. Check out Chapter 9 ʻSteps for finding a jobʼ.

Health insurance

Health isurance is mandatory in Luxembourg. It covers:
  • Illness and maternity/paternity leave;
  • Workplace accidents and occupational illnesses;
  • Old age and invalidity.
Employers must declare their employees with the Social Security Centre (CCSS) and must pay the employee’s contribution for the social contributions, i.e. 13% of the gross salary, deducted every month (of which 3% is allocated to health insurance and 8% to pension insurance).

 

Co-insurance

If you are affiliated with the social security as an employee or a self-employed worker, the members of your family (spouse, children, etc.) are entitled to co-insurance.
Given that this is not attributed automatically, it is important to contact
the Social Security Centre (www.ccss.lu) to request co-insurance for them.

 

Why insure yourself?

First of all, to receive social protection in the event of illness or a non-work related accident. A person who is unable to work will not suffer a loss of income and an employee on maternity leave can continue to receive the equivalent of her salary.
Furthermore, certain medical expenses (dentistry, hospital care, medication) are covered by health insurance and may be reimbursed under certain conditions.

 

The Find a Job guide provides you with very helpful information on how to obtain reimbursement of medical expenses and save on taxes. Check out Chapter 7 ʻTaxes and Social securityʼ.

Minimum salary & Old age pension

Minimum Social Wage

In Luxembourg, an employer is required to pay a minimum salary to any employees working fulltime (i.e. 40 hours per week). This Minimum Social Wage amounts currently to € 1,998 gross per month, or € 11,50 gross per hour.
A qualified worker aged at least 18 is entitled to an increase of 20% and receives € 2,400 gross per month. An adolescent aged 15 to 17 is paid € 1,500 per month (i.e. 75% of the MSW), whereas a young person aged 17 to 18 is entitled to € 1,600 gross per month (i.e. 80% of the MSW).

 

Old age pension

The legal age for retirement is 65.
However, early pensions can be granted from the age of 57 to 60 if the conditions concerning age and affiliation (480 months at least) have been fulfilled. To be entitled to an old age pension, you must have paid social security contributions for at least 120 months (i.e. 10 years).
The minimum pension for a person who has paid social security contributions for 40 years is € 1,772 per month gross.