The New Year starts with a number of new laws entering into force in Luxembourg
Easier access to public documents, no more free bags, mini-nurseries and more money for students—all these changes and more take effect in 2019.
Since Tuesday, transparency got a boost in Luxembourg. Under a law passed in September 2018, everyone has the right to access documents relating to the work of a public administration. This could be a government agency or service, commune or association, legal entities providing a public service, the parliament, council of state, ombudsman, court of auditors or any of the professional chambers.
Indeed, the bodies covered have to automatically publish online information or provide it within a month of a request being submitted. The shift is expected to be beneficial to journalists, though how it will work in practice remains to be seen. Further information about the law (in French) can be found here.
Anyone who has done any shopping since Tuesday will have found shops now charge for single-use plastic bags (defined as those with a thickness of more than 15 microns). The law excludes lightweight plastic bags (with less than 15 microns thickness).
The number of people able to claim a cost of living allowance in Luxembourg is expected to increase this year after eligibility the conditions were amended. The amounts issued remain unchanged since 2018, however.
People receiving benefits including Revis (formerly RMG) and RPGH, as will those on the minimum wage, will see their earnings increase 1.1% starting 1 January.
Workers on long-term sick leave will see the period during which they’re entitled to financial compensation extended from 52 to 78 weeks, for a period of 18 months, up from 12 months. Starting 1 January, they will also have the option of a gradual return to work, if that is considered beneficial to their health. You can read more about this (in French) here.
Infectious diseases must be declared as of 1 January to help authorities better monitor them. Diseases including tuberculosis, Lyme disease, measles or sexually transmitted diseases such as HIV, Aids, syphilis and hepatitis must be declared by doctors, dentists or medical analysis laboratories.
And children aged 9 to 13 will be able to receive HPV vaccinations free of charge in Luxembourg. The health ministry hopes that by vaccinating boys, it will reduce the spread of HPV and lower the instances of cervical cancer.
The last change regarding health care means that anyone receiving a consultation with a dietician in Luxembourg will be reimbursed by the CNS, provided they are eligible for national insurance.
2019 will be a year for social elections and European elections—two kinds of elections in which foreign residents are permitted to vote.
The next social elections are scheduled for 12 March 2019, when companies with at least 15 staff members must organise elections to vote for staff delegates. The elections, along with the names of the candidates and the results, must be declared to the employment watchdog, the labour and mines inspectorate.
Starting in 2019, they can do all of these things via the myguichet.lu platform.
The next European elections are scheduled for 26 May 2019. Voters will be able to cast their ballots from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. The deadline for registering non-Luxembourg residents who are EU citizens is 5 p.m. on 28 February.
It is possible to register on the electoral list and request a postal vote via myguichet.lu. You can also find out more about your rights in these elections by visiting jepeuxvoter.lu
It will be back to school for students and pupils on 7 January. The same day, parents can take advantage of newly created mini nurseries, care centres offering a combination of childminding and nursery services. Each nursery can accommodate up to 11 children aged from 0 to 12, including up to 4 babies aged under 1. You can read more about mini nurseries (in French) here.
Starting 1 August 2019, students will receive a 2.5% boost to the financial support they receive for higher education studies. This increase applies for the academic year of 2019-2020. Find out more about student grants and loans via Cedies.