The European Investment Bank in Luxembourg-Kirchberg. Photo: Flickr/Steintec
The European Investment Bank is to close its on-site crèche because the childcare landscape in Luxembourg has dramatically changed since it was founded, a spokesperson has said.
Luxembourg trade union the LCGB announced on its site on Monday that the “L’Abeille” crèche, managed by Attitude, would cease activities in Luxembourg, impacting some 44 staff members. The union denounced the lack of social dialogue and communication from the EIB. “Their actions show indifference towards the employees of the crèche but also towards the parents. In the absence of a protective legal framework, the existence of the 44 employees of the crèche is deliberately jeopardised,” the union wrote on its site.
Contacted by Delano on Tuesday, an EIB spokesperson that the decision was taken in respect of the fact that the partly-subsidised crèche was only catering for 10% of crèche-aged children of EIB staff. The bank had also introduced a special allowance for parents accessing a handful of crèches vetted by the EIB. “This system, plus the private crèche, catered for only 30% of eligible children [of parents working at the EIB],” the spokesperson said, adding: “The idea is to have a system that is more fair and simpler.”
The private crèche was created at the EIB site in Kirchberg in 1995 when, the spokersperson said, the demand for crèches in Luxembourg was higher than the offer. Since then the number of staff at the EIB has also grown rapidly.
“Starting the EIB crèche was a way to help families coming from abroad […] Now the market is totally different. There are many more crèches of different styles,” she said.
Following a consultation with the college of staff delegates and an equal opportunities committee, the decision was taken in December to close the crèche and change the system of individual financial support for parents of crèche-aged children working at the EIB. The exact amount of support has yet to be defined. The spokesperson was unable to confirm the closure date for the crèche, saying that it was still being examined.