The chamber of deputies’ telework sub-committee was visited by finance minister Yuriko Backes (DP) and social security minister Claude Haagen (LSAP) on Thursday 30 March. The meeting was scheduled to discuss the two main issues related to the teleworking of frontier workers: taxation and social security.
“We took stock of the current negotiations with them,” explained Carole Hartmann (DP), one of the members of this sub-committee. “On the one hand, those led by Claude Haagen, which are taking place at European level, concerning the tolerance threshold for social security. And on the other hand, the talks that Yuriko Backes has initiated with Germany in order to try to increase the number of teleworking days for German border workers without any tax consequences for them.”
The ministers expressed their “confidence” in these two dossiers.
Member states will have a choice
For example, with regard to social security, it appears that the tolerance threshold should increase from 25% to 49% on 1 July 2023. This is the day after the end of the covid-19 provisions which allowed cross-border workers to telework without limits at that level.
“The administrative commission for the coordination of social security systems in the European Union should propose a standard agreement along these lines before July, and it will then be up to each state to accept or reject this agreement,” explained the ministry of social security.
As social security remains a national competence, each EU country will have the choice of whether or not to move to 49%. In Luxembourg, the answer will be positive. And Haagen is “confident” that the same will be true of the country’s German, Belgian and French neighbours.
“It should also be pointed out that this agreement will apply exclusively to telework and not to all transnational activities carried out by cross-border workers,” added Marc Spautz (CSV), another member of this subcommittee.
34 days for German cross-border workers?
In the meantime, if all this is confirmed in the coming weeks, it will mean that cross-border workers active in Luxembourg will be able to telework on average almost two and a half days a week while remaining affiliated to Luxembourg social security.
They will, however, still have to make do with their quota of days linked to taxation. This means 34 days per year for Belgian and French cross-border workers.
As for those coming from Germany, although they are still limited to 19 days per year, Backes said she was “confident” that this number would increase to 34 days. Reaching this number seems to be her objective.
It should be noted that these telework days are not binding for the various employers in the country. They are just a legal framework defining the maximum number of days that one can work from these border countries without any impact at the fiscal level.
This story was first published in French on Paperjam. It has been translated and edited for Delano.