Brief Description of Employees’ and Employers’ Associations
In Luxembourg, the employees’ representation takes place on two levels: mandatory and voluntary. The registration of employers and employees in one of the 5 professional chambers is mandatory. In addition, both employees and employers can be members of a trade union on a voluntary basis. The employees have two general organisations concerning all workers: OGBL (Onofhängege Gewerkschaftsbond Lëtzebuerg) and LCGB (Lëtzebuerger Chrëschtleche Gewerkschaftsbond). The main employer association is the UEL (Union des entreprises luxembourgeoises). Other sectors have their own trade unions, such as the ALEBA in the financial sector.
Rights and Importance of Trade Unions
The rate of employees who are members of a trade union is 30% (2015). The trade unions received the right to conclude collective agreements and to represent workers. The legislator has provided five professional chambers (CSL). The key mission of the professional chambers is to safeguard and defend the interests of the professional groups they represent. Social peace is the objective in the Luxembourg social model. Employment law decisions are often taken after a consensus between employer chambers, employee chambers and government.
Employees’ Representation in Management
Representation in a Public Limited Company – When a public limited company has 1,000 or more employees over a reference period of 3 years, the board must have at least 9 members of which one third must be employees. The same obligation applies to public limited companies in which the state has a participation of at least 25%. These employee managers are elected by the staff delegates. The Labour Code foresees some exceptions; for example, in the steel industry, the employee managers are elected by the trade union. The employee managers also benefit from a special protection against dismissal.
European Work Council – Undertakings that employ at least 1,000 employees through different companies within the European Union and have at least 150 employees in two countries must establish a European Works Council or a procedure for informing and consulting employees.
Representation in European Companies – A specific representation of employees is also foreseen in European Companies, which are elected by the staff delegates, as well as the creation of a special negotiating body representing the employees.
Other Types of Employee Representative Bodies
Each staff delegate must appoint a health and security delegate and a delegate for equal treatment. The mission of the delegate for equal treatment is to defend gender equality in relation to access to employment, training, promotion, remuneration and working conditions.