Identity card for construction sector, Luxembourg
The social partners of construction in a tripartite meeting in 2012 decided to introduce an ID card for every worker on a construction site. This will make control by the Labour inspection easier in a sector that is experiencing competition on the basis of low prices that could contribute to the non-respect of Luxembourg legislation.
The construction sector is particularly sensitive to the question of undeclared work. In the sector there are large sub-contracting chains with ‘cascade’ subcontracting and cases of illegal work can appear even in works financed by the public sector. The newspaper L’Essentiel reports cases where workers were paid between €3 and €7 per hour in 2012, less than the minimum wage in Luxembourg or the legal minimum for this type of work – expected to be from €10.4 to €12.5 per hour, according to the person's qualifications. In addition some of the workers controlled have not passed the compulsory medical exams.
In order to combat illegal work, the social partners in the construction sector in Luxembourg discussed the issue and took a tripartite decision to introduce an identity card ('badge') from 1 January 2013.
This ID card will include the personnel data of each worker – for example, the name of the employer, the contact signed, etc. It will allow easier controls in a sector that is experiencing competition on the basis of low prices that could contribute to non-respect of the Luxembourg legislation. According to the trade unions the sanctions cases of non-declared work should be serious, including financial sanctions or even closure of construction sites.
The specific measure was agreed in 2012 and is expected to enter into force in January 2012.
The social partners at sectoral level in the construction sector are involved in the measure: both construction trade union federations of OGBL and LCGB and the employers' organisations.
Outcome of evaluations: lessons and conclusions
Achievement of objectives
The measure aims to facilitate controls of illegal work on the construction sites.
Obstacles and problems
It is still very early to debate the problems and obstacles related to the application of the measure. However, it is thought that the Labour Inspectorate (ITM) is aware of the problems but lacks the appropriate means to address them. For example in the Canton of Esch-sur-Alzette where there are multiple construction sites, there is only one labour inspection. In other words, insufficient control could represent an obstacle.
The lessons learned could be examined after the real application of the measure.
There are no impact indicators set.
Similar measures in construction exist in other countries (for example, Norway) or sectors (such as cleaning) (see for example, Kirov 2011) and could be transferred.
- OGBL: http://www.ogbl.lu/syndicat-batiment/le-syndikat/presentation/
- LCGB: http://lcgb.lu/fr/structures-syndicales/l14003/lcgb-construction-et-artisanat-bau-und-handwerk/
- FEDIL: http://www.index.lu/entreprise/groupement-des-entrepreneurs-du-batiment-et-des-travaux-publics
Luxembourg is a country with strong application of labour law norms and collective bargaining coverage and in general illegal work is very insignificant compared to other EU countries.
- Les mesures pratiques mises en oeuvre afin de réduire la migration irrégulière.
Vassil Kirov, IR Share