Economy & Politics

Partial unemployment extended until the end of 2020

The Luxembourg state has already spent 725 million euros to support partial unemployment measures since mid-March. But the device will be maintained “until December 31, at least” announced the Minister of Labor.

The Luxembourg state has already spent 725 million euros to support partial unemployment measures since mid-March. But the device will be maintained “until December 31, at least” announced the Minister of Labor.

Unemployment exploded in April, and Labor Minister Dan Kersch (LSAP) made no secret on Wednesday that he still expected to see the number of job seekers increase in the coming months. Expect layoffs, graduates and students who take their exams soon will arrive on a difficult job market therefore … So the record rate of 7.2% unemployment rate in Luxembourg may well be exceeded under little.

And yet, it was a “relatively satisfied” Socialist Deputy Prime Minister who spoke at the time of explaining his participation in the recovery plan revealed a few hours earlier by Xavier Bettel. If Dan Kersch does not look gloomy, it is because he finds that the country has reacted well and in record time by introducing short-time working measures which have prevented the health crisis from turning into social drama. What to avoid, in his own words, “a wave of unemployment”.

It is certain that the measures, validated by unions and employers, in mid-March have saved many companies and therefore employees. You only have to appreciate the figures given: already € 725 million in salary advances granted, 32,000 requests received, 14,703 beneficiary companies of this support for asecure some 320,000 wages. More than a breath of air, a real lifesaver.

And even if the state of crisis should not exceed June 24, the government heard the voice of the unions which, this week again, asked it to extend assistance for short-time working beyond this date. It will be done and even until the end of December 2020, and “that without anyone receiving less than the minimum wage,” the government said. In his time, the Prime Minister had promised an outstretched hand “at all costs”, that is widely translated.

Layoffs in good custody

To do it right, Dan Kersch promises easier partial unemployment claims. Even if they will always remain subject to the validation of the economic committee. But the administration should streamline its procedures a little more, especially for companies with fewer than 25 employees. Simplification accompanied by flexibility, insisted the Minister. Reminding employees and employers alike that short-time working could be taken by the hour, half-day, day, week, month …

If the health of many companies will take a long time to recover from weeks spent without activity or with substantial loss of contracts, the Minister of Labor warned that in matters of dismissal, the State would always be rigorous in respecting rules. Thus, companies that have received public aid to overcome this crisis can not part with more than 25% of their workforce. Maximum. Great maximum, even warns a Dan Kersch.

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