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Anti-Discrimination Laws in Luxembourg

1. Brief Description of Anti-Discrimination Laws

The law of 28 November 2006 transposes into Luxembourg law two European directives (Directive 2000/43CE and Directive 2000/78CE).

This law has amended the Luxembourg Labour Code and introduced in book II of the Code a new title V relating to equal treatment in employment and occupation.

The law of 13 May 2008 modified the rules concerning gender equality by transposing the Council Directive 2000/78/EC establishing a general framework for equal treatment in employment and occupation.

2. Extent of Protection

The discrimination grounds prohibited are religion, conviction or belief, handicap, age, sexual orientation, real or assumed membership or non-membership of an ethnic group.

Criminal law also prohibits discrimination if it is based on the gender, the sexual orientation, health or disability, nationality, colour or origin, real or assumed membership of an ethnic group, political or philosophical belief, and union membership. A fine, a prison sentence or both penalties can be imposed in case of prohibited discrimination.

There is no qualifying period of service before an employee can bring a claim.

The discrimination can be direct (being treated less advantageously) or indirect (a neutral practice having a negative effect only on the persons discriminated against). The Labour and Mines Inspectorate is in charge of enforcing compliance with the principle of non-discrimination.

3. Protections against Harassment

In order to implement into national law the framework agreement concluded on 26 April 2007 by social partners at the European level, the Luxembourg unions signed on 25 June 2009 an agreement on moral harassment and violence in the workplace.

This agreement has been declared of general obligation by a grand-ducal regulation dated 15 December 2009 and thus applies to every employer in the country.

4. Employer’s Obligation to Provide Reasonable Accommodations

Employers with more than 25 employees must allocate a certain percentage of positions to disabled workers.

To help employers comply with this requirement, the State may take over some of the costs incurred with regard to the payment of wages, vocational training, adaptation of workstations and physical access to work, transport and the provision of adequate professional equipment.

5. Remedies

The employer must indicate that he will not tolerate any form of moral harassment or violence in the business. He/she also must remind managers and other employees that each of them is responsible for ensuring that such acts do not occur in the workplace. Even if the employer is not the perpetrator of the act of harassment or violence at work, he/she could be held liable for such act as he/she is responsible for preventing and penalizing such behaviour. If a prohibited act occurs, the employer must conduct an internal evaluation, in particular of the efficiency of established preventive measures. The employer must implement a management procedure to address any problems of harassment and work-related violence.

For more information on these articles or any other issues involving labour and employment matters in Luxembourg, please contact Christian Jungers, Partner at KLEYR | GRASSO (www.kleyrgrasso.com) at christian.jungers@kleyrgrasso.com
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