Free movement of workers: new provisions on equal treatment and minimum pay for highly qualified workers

Free movement of workers: new provisions on equal treatment and minimum pay for highly qualified workers
30 Mar 2018

ILO, Employment & Benefits

Guy Castegnaro, Ariane Claverie

Equal treatment

The Law of November 7 2017, which came into force on January 1 2018, partially transposed EU Directive 2014/54/EU on measures facilitating the exercise of rights conferred on workers in the context of freedom of movement for workers into Luxembourg law.

As such, Article L251-1 of the Labour Code was amended to incorporate 'nationality' as a criterion for direct or indirect discrimination prohibited by law. Similar provisions were also incorporated into the general regulations for both national civil servants and municipal civil servants. However, an exception to the principle of non-discrimination based on nationality was included in Article L252-2 of the Labour Code regarding the conditions for the arrival, residency and employment of nationals from third-party countries (ie, countries that are not EU member states, parties to the Agreement on the European Economic Area or the Switzerland) and stateless persons, in keeping with the applicable statutory provisions relating to the free movement of people and immigration stipulated by the Modified Law of August 29 2008.

Further, the law tasked the Centre for Equal Treatment (CET) with conducting and commissioning independent inquiries into and analyses of:

  • unjustified restrictions and obstacles to the right to free movement; and
  • nationality-based discrimination against workers from the European Union and their family members.

The law also stipulates that the CET is now directly connected to the Chamber of Deputies.

Minimum pay

The Ministerial Regulation of November 30 2017 updated the minimum pay levels for highly qualified workers, as required by Article 45 of the Modified Law of August 29 2008 on the free movement of people and immigration.

According to the regulation, STATEC set the average gross annual salary designed to determine the minimum pay for a highly qualified worker at €49,332 as of 2015.

Thus, in accordance with the applicable statutory and regulatory provisions, the minimum pay level for a highly qualified worker is €49,332 x 1.5 (ie, €73,998) as of December 11 2017 – the date on which the regulation was published in the Memorial.

For jobs in professions belonging to Groups 1 and 2 of the International Standard Classification of Occupations – for which the government has identified a particular need to employ workers from third-party countries – the minimum pay threshold is €49,332 x 1.2 (ie, €59,198.40) as of December 11 2017.