Economy & Politics

The partial unemployment overpayment is regularized

Out of the 852 million euros of advances granted to Luxembourg companies under the partial unemployment measure, there were overpayments. The State has already managed to be reimbursed 68% of the sums due.

Patrick JACQUEMOT

Out of the 852 million euros of advances granted to Luxembourg companies under the partial unemployment measure, there were overpayments. The State has already succeeded in being reimbursed 68% of the sums due.

Is it still necessary to repeat how short-time working has served as a parachute to many companies in free fall? Between March and June 2020 alone, the State will thus have admitted 14,810 companies to benefit from this measure “in case of force majeure”. And the administration to sign advances with all their arms to avoid the social crash. Thus, just for the second quarter, ensures the Ministry of the Economy, 375,196 private sector employees have seen 80% of their usual payroll ensured through public generosity.

Except that in the haste, the services led by Franz Fayot (LSAP) were very generous. Not taking into account people on sick leave, on leave for family reasons and other arrangements which have been able to provide for themselves or their employer other assistance to ensure their monthly income. In reviewing its files in detail, the ministry found 93,615 unduly beneficiary files partial unemployment payment. Or, all the same, of the order of 406 million euros that were not justified.


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The Conjuncture Committee reached an agreement within the framework of the processing of accounts relating to work stoppages linked to the health crisis. This process will be applied for the period from July to December 2020.


Also, since the start of the school year, reimbursement requests have left the ministry in the direction of companies having been paid more money than legitimately granted. And the accountants obviously took it well, and took out the checkbook in turn. Thus, Minister Franz Fayot assured the Chamber of Deputies that already a little more than 306 million had been returned willingly. Amount recovered on October 19, knowing that the fundraising operation will continue in the weeks and months to come.

In most cases, this is much morean administrative problem than a real fraud put in place. There is therefore no question for the moment of considering sanctions. And then, from now on, the very system of allocation of partial unemployment has changed somewhat. Thus, since the end of the state of crisis, on June 30, new terms must be observed in the files submitted. Each one is now warned of the personnel not to declare any more in the aid applications for partial, structural or cyclical unemployment.

So far, the mechanism in place has made it possible to remunerate some 29.6 million working hours. As it stands, the government has announced that it is continuing the partial unemployment scheme until December 31, 2020. A date that could undoubtedly be postponed further, in view of the timid resumption of activity in the country and the health uncertainties which reign again.


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