Minimum wage in Luxembourg for contract agents – Parliament shows the way

*Update 01.09.2023: the social minimum wage for Luxembourg is now 3085.11 EUR gross (or 2570.93 EUR for unskilled workers).* Original article: In March we wrote about a glimmer of hope for contract agents in Luxembourg, who are earning less than the national minimum wage and need a special allowance just to touch this very minimum. The problem is that the Commission includes a number of EU allowances when comparing the salaries to determine the amount of this special allowance (see Commission decision C(2015) 4907 and the administrative notice 07-2017, March 2017): most notably, the expatriation allowance is included in the calculation.

This is problematic because the expatriation allowance (16%) obviously has no counterpart in the Luxembourgish social system and it is meant to cover additional costs that an expatriate has in comparison to a local person. Two things have happened since our last article on the topic:

  1. There was another indexation round in Luxembourg. Since 1 April 2023, the corresponding index has risen from 898.93 points to 921.40 points. As 100 points equal an amount of 326.66 EUR, this gives a minimum salary for qualified workers of 3009 EUR/month.
  2. The Bureau of the European Parliament has indeed changed its approach and is no longer including the expatriation allowance for the calculation of the minimum salary – a very welcome development. On top of it, this change will have a retrospective effect as of 1 January.

Generation 2004 has sent a follow-up to the note that we sent in February. We will not repeat the arguments that we have already presented in our previous articles and in the corresponding notes – but let’s just hope that the Commission is starting to see the light. Otherwise, and if you are affected by this minimum wage approach – well, you now know about the difference in treatment.[1]

Contrast Parliament’s action with the Commission’s statement in February 2023 that no adjustment is necessary.[2] The next annual comparison will take place in October 2023 and there will be a possibility to review the way the calculation is made in January 2024.

Of course, we will keep you posted on any developments and as always, we appreciate your feedback.

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[1] We have written elsewhere about interinstitutional differences e.g. in who is eligible for competitions or the teleworking lump sum.

[2] Décision de la Commission relative au versement d’une aide sociale à certains agents  de la Commission affectés au Luxembourg – Réexamen des éléments à prendre en compte pour servir au calcul du montant de référence et du minimum social correspondant au Luxembourg Ares(2023)1079026 – 14/02/2023

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