Economy & Politics

Interim bears the brunt of the crisis

From one year to the next, the number of people on temporary assignment in Luxembourg has fallen by almost two thirds. It is true that this type of contract is mainly used by branches whose activity has fallen in recent months.

Patrick JACQUEMOT

Patrick JACQUEMOT

From one year to the next, the number of people on temporary assignment in Luxembourg has fallen by almost two thirds. It is true that this type of contract is mainly used by branches whose activity has fallen in recent months.

For at least five years, the share of temporary employment in Luxembourg has hardly changed. Located around 2% of total salaried employment. But that was before covid-19. Between lockdown and difficult economic recovery, precarious jobs were the first to be excluded from the labor market. Labor Minister Dan Kersch (LSAP) on Monday released figures showing how fatal the first socioeconomic wave had been for many temporary jobs.

So while it concerned 9,708 employees in March 2019, temporary work no longer benefited than 3,311 men and women in March 2020. Or -65% from one year to the next. Comparing the figures for April 2019-2020, the decrease is approaching 54%. The shock is therefore severe, even if the Grand Duchy can boast of having – for three months – curbed a rise in unemployment. But there is no doubt that among the 19,702 job seekers that ADEM counts today, many are those who, previously, escaped the statistics of the Agency by going from one mission to another.

Looking at the sectors of activity used to recruiting this type of workforce, the cause of the fall is obvious. “Temporary work is very concentrated at the sectoral level,” analyzes the socialist minister. With in particular the construction sector employing 40% of temporary workers, manufacturing industries (16%) and trade. ”

Stop construction for some; confinement and drop in production for the others and closing shops for the latter are all reasons to see this part of the working population directly impacted. Employers already preferring to keep their permanent contracts in place, even if it means redistributing tasks, rather than having recourse to temporary labor. And not sure that the coming months will not continue on this trend. Yes 14,722 companies are currently under partial unemployment, their (possible) upturn in power will first of all be based on their own workforce.

If the situation is currently delicate for temporary workers, the absence of contracts also penalizes their future. Thus, notes Dan Kersch, “9.5% of individuals who have experienced an episode of temporary work are recruited – in CCD or CDI – within the company in which this mission took place”. Without having been able to set foot in the door, impossible to be noticed positively by a possible employer.


In addition to Moselle, the idea of ​​reducing working hours is resurfacing as a remedy to maintain employment during and after the unprecedented crisis caused by the coronavirus.


Responding to a parliamentary question from CSV deputies, Félix Eischen and Marc Spautz, the Minister of Labor is putting forward some ideas for an evolution of temporary work “shortly”. Areas of work which Dan Kersch assures us that they will be “examined internally”. Starting with the possibility in the future of having an “indefinite temporary employment contract”. In addition, the Socialist Vice-President is not closing the door on the introduction, for temporary work companies, of having the possibility of concluding fixed-term contracts with temporary workers.

In any case, the minister will consult the social partners, he said, before any progress or setback on these issues.


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