Library picture of the Chamber of Deputies. Image credit: LaLa La Photo
The Luxembourg Chamber of Commerce has come out against the introduction of a new public holiday and an additional vacation day, which were pledged by the new coalition government in December, as the proposed bill currently stands.
The DP-LSAP-Green party coalition said it would create an 11th public holiday, Europe Day on 9 May, and increase minimum paid leave for private sector workers from 25 to 26 days a year.
However, the Chamber of Commerce said businesses were not given the chance to provide input on the measures and language in the draft bill needed to be clarified.
“The bill in question provides that these provisions come into force retroactively to 1 January 2019.
“The Chamber of Commerce opposes the bill and criticises its provisions both on their principle and on their implementation, which appears hasty, because there was no consultation with private companies. However, [firms] will be heavily impacted by the provisions contained in the bill and in any case, as the authors of the draft law admit, [companies] will be more impacted than the public sector, which already enjoys a number of days of leave exceeding the legal [minimum] and for which the new measures should not have financial repercussions.”
The chamber said “little thought” was given to the impact on businesses, including those in the hospitality and finance sectors, which maintain services seven days a week throughout the year.
The lobby group recommended that Europe Day replace an existing public holiday or that businesses be given the flexibility to give employees an extra vacation day in lieu of shutting down on 9 May.
The outfit also stated that language in the bill needed be revised “to indicate without ambiguity that the provision excludes employees who already benefit from more than 25 days off per year”.
The Chamber of Commerce argued:
“This clarification appears necessary to avoid potential discussions or conflicts within companies that already have more favorable conditions, especially since the measure is supposed to be retroactive to 1 January 2019.”