Economy & Politics

60 hours / week limited to 13 sectors

Clearly, the possibility for the employer to request an extension of the working time of its employees continues to move forward and backward. This time, the system is moving away from certain professions at the request of the unions.

Clearly, the possibility for the employer to request an extension of the working time of its employees continues to move forward and backward. This time, the system is moving away from certain professions at the request of the unions.

One step forward, one step back, one step to the side. Would the government keep pace with the Echternach procession when it comes to extending working hours? Everything suggests on the issue of 60h / week. A measure which, discreetly, had seen its field of action widen and which comes –after union protests– to be reduced to a few areas of activity. Like what had been decided at the end of March when the epidemic crisis threatened to decimate the working population.

Friday May 15, the government council therefore chose to withdraw some of the sectors in secret on May 11, it had authorized to be able to work 12 hours a day at the rate of five days a week. Exit certain commercial and craft activities, which appeared in the initial list or that extended. Only 13 sectors are considered to be essential for the smooth running of the country. Construction trades (main point of friction with unions), opticians, the dry cleaning activities, the DIY or gardening signs leaving, as if by magic, this device on which the socialist minister Dan Kersch has not said a word in recent weeks.

On the eve of meeting Prime Minister Xavier Bettel (DP) again to discuss post-crisis measures, the OGBL is half satisfied with this update. The union, joined by the LCGB, had made known its anger to the head of government Friday during a ardently demanded meeting.

However, the organization chaired by Nora Back is still questioning the government’s choreography in this matter. And on maintaining this exceptional measure. “We must not lose sight of the fact that the employees of the companies concerned have been working since the end of March at high speed and until exhaustion, without being able to use the necessary rest time normally due. With the extension of the exemption from maximum hours until the end of the state of crisis (Editor’s note: June 24), this situation may therefore continue for almost three months. It is feared that this could also have negative consequences for the health and safety of the employees concerned. ”

While the construction sector was the first to resume its activity, unions and employers had to discuss the possible cancellation of the mandatory rest of this summer 2020. For the time being, it is niet.

It should be noted that the government has not renewed the possibility provided for the “essential” sectors to refuse any leave and even to cancel the leave already granted, despite employer pressure demanding that this provision be maintained. “Employees in these sectors can therefore take their leave again according to the normal rules provided for by the Labor Code,” insists the OGBL.

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