Luxembourg: EIRO CAR on “The effect of the Information and Consultation Directive on Industrial Relations in the EU Member States five years after its transposition

  • Observatory: EurWORK
  • Topic:
  • Participation at work,
  • Labour and social regulation,
  • Industrial relations,
  • Published on: 18 January 2011



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Disclaimer: This information is made available as a service to the public but has not been edited by the European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions. The content is the responsibility of the authors.

The transposition of the Directive 2002/14/CE of 11 March 2002 in national law took place one year after the Grand Duchy was sanctioned for failing to comply with the period prescribed (see ruling C-321/06 of the European Court of Justice (ECJ) and the law of 9 May 2008). Actually, the legislative debate was heavily delayed by discussions on the way to match the Directive principles to the existing framework on staff representation. Furthermore, although it is quite difficult to assess its potential impacts on industrial relations, social partners seem to agree on the fact that the Directive brought no actual contribution to the previous social dialogue system.

Questionnaire

Question 1: Trends in the incidence of undertaking- and/or establishment-level information and consultation bodies

(a) Using official statistics where possible, please provide annual data for the years 2005-2009 (inclusive) on the number and proportion (%) of undertakings and/or establishments which have an information and consultation (I&C) body or equivalent.

In Luxembourg, the information and consultation process is carried out within two bodies, namely, staff delegations (article 414-4 et. seq. of the Labour Code (LC)), and joint committees (article L 423-2 et. seq. LC).

Pursuant to article L 411-1 LC, the staff delegation is designated by the establishment workforce through elections organized when at least fifteen workers are bound by an employment contract on a regular basis. Joint committees are implemented in undertakings with at least one hundred and fifty workers regularly bound by employment contracts and wherein employee representatives are elected by the members of the staff delegation (see article 1st § 3 of the grand ducal regulation of 24 September 1974 as amended).

There are no available data on the number or on the proportion of undertakings and/or establishments which have I&C bodies. Rough assumptions can nevertheless be inferred from the figures provided for by the Central Service for Statistics and Economic Surveys, STATEC in relation with the population of enterprises established in Luxembourg.

Article L 411-1 of the Labour Code (LC) sets the threshold for the implementation of staff delegations in establishments to fifteen employees while the threshold for joint committees is provided by article L 421-1 LC and imposes at least one hundred and fifty employees in the undertaking.

On the 1 January 2009, 26 464 enterprises established in Luxembourg were listed and parted as follow : no employees; 1-4 employees; 5-19 employees; 20-49 employees; 50-249 employees and 250 and more employees.

2 020 enterprises had at least 20 employees and 150 of them had more than 250 employees. From a theoretical standpoint, that means that 2 020 enterprises were likely to have a staff delegation and 150 of them to have a staff delegation and a joint committee.

However, it has to be born in mind that there are no figures relative to the portion of enterprises in the category 5-19 employees which might have at least fifteen employees and therefore which were also likely to have a staff delegation.

In parallel of these assumptions, it might be interesting to look at the unofficial figures provided by the Luxembourg Labour Inspectorate, (Inspection du Travail et des Mines, ITM) that show the evolution of the number of staff delegates designated upon the social elections over a decade.

According to the person contacted in the Staff Representation Office in the Labour Inspectorate, about 2 300 enterprises organized a staff delegation designation upon the social elections in 2008.

Number of staff delegates assigned out of social elections 2003-2013

Number of staff delegates assigned out of social elections 2003-2013

Source: unofficial communication from the ITM.

Needless to say that the changes are quite noticeable and huge differences can be detected at first sight.

The person contacted in the Staff Representation Office in the Labour Inspectorate could not provide us with rational explanation about the exponential growth of staff delegates. Yet, he explicitly tempered the argumentation which would have made a link between this increase and national employment growth in that period. Besides, the absence of systematic and computerized follow-up of staff representation bodies before the social elections of 2008 may also partly explain those big gaps.

It could be more interesting to focus on future updates as a similar follow-up is about to be done for joint committees.

Although no interactions can be done between the different parameters, it can be observed that social elections for the five year assignment period 2008-2013 have resulted in a significant increase of the number of staff representatives in all the sectors of the national economy. Their total number jumped from 3.483 to 6.268 i.e.by 80 per cent. According to the contact in the Staff Representation Office (ITM), about 2 300 enterprises.

In the meantime, has to be considered the noticeable increase by 19,8 per cent of the number of employees in Luxembourg between 2003 and 2008 (see the statistics on employment provided by the Administration of Employment, ADEM and the STATEC respectively issued in 2009 and 2010).

Lastly, it can be referred to the European Company Survey - (ECS) - carried out in 2009 on the existence and type of employee representation at company level and broken down as illustrated in the table and chart reproduced below:

MM650 Companies with employee representation
   

Employee representative

No employee representative

Not applicable

N=

Luxembourg Small

5.5

94.5

0

3209

Medium

21.5

78.5

0

892

Large

65.7

34.3

0

137

All

10.8

89.2

0

4238

Source : ECS 2009

Graph 2

Graph 2

The above data should be interpreted with caution as they only result from the outcomes of telephone interviews made with a sample of companies picked up randomly in 2008. For Luxembourg, 4,000 establishments were chosen, 501 of them replied and among them only 298 i.e. 59% had an employee representation. Besides, the survey excludes certain domains such as the fishing and private households sectors.

It can be noticed that more than half of large companies - that means 200 and more employees in this study – have an employee representation. Once again, this figure might be regarded cautiously as employee representation implementation is strictly regulated by law and is required from fifteen employees in all establishments whatever is the legal status of the employer.

(b) Where possible, please provide data to show trends in the uptake of I&C bodies by:

(i) size of undertakings/establishments in terms of employment levels (i.e. under 50 employees, 50-99 employees, 100-199 employees; 200-499 employees, 500 or more employees or other appropriate size bands used in national statistics)

See development under Question 1a.

(ii) sector (broadly defined, i.e. industry/manufacturing, private services, public services).

See development under Question 1a and particularly under the table titled “Number of staff delegates assigned out of social elections 2003-2013”.

(c) Please provide information on the extent of I&C arrangements in:

(i) smaller undertakings (those with fewer than 50 employees)(ii) public administration.

No available data.

(d) What factors explain any increase/decrease in the incidence of I&C bodies (e.g. economic climate, legislative change, other)?

The Union of Luxembourg Companies, UEL (see the presentation in LU0910049Q) and the nationally representative trade union confederation, the Onofhängege Gewerkschaftsbond Lëtzebuerg, OGB-L both identify the crisis as a factor that quickened social dialogue.

Indeed, the crisis had impacts on company structures, management and even shareholding that logically implied the involvement of staff representatives in related discussions. This consequently intensified the information consultation processes within establishments and enterprises.

Question 2: Procedures for establishing I&C bodies

(a) What are the procedures for establishing I&C bodies in your country? For example, are I&C bodies mandatory (i.e. employers are obliged by law to establish them), or is their establishment dependent on employees/trade unions triggering statutory procedures? In the latter case, who can initiate the procedure? Is there a specified level of employee support required?

The representation of workers takes place through a dual channel with two I&C bodies at the workplace level with, on the one hand, staff delegations and, on the other hand, joint committees. Both types of bodies are implemented under specific thresholds pre-requisites (see developments below).

The procedures for establishing I&C bodies in Luxembourg are provided by the law.

For staff delegations

Article L 411-1 LC provides that any employer whatever might be its legal status is compelled to have a staff delegation designated as soon as at least fifteen people are regularly bound by an employment contract. Social elections have to take place into the legal framework period that is between October 15th and November 15th every five calendar year. Obviously, elections can exceptionally take place out of this legal period under specific circumstances such as in the case where the threshold of fifteen employees is reached within the slot.

The Luxembourg Labour Inspectorate issued a handbook on social election implementation rules. The purpose of this handbook is notably to ensure that social elections would be held in compliance to legal procedures. What is interesting to outline here is that the document explicitly reminds that this is under the employer’s responsibility to trigger the election process whenever the legal thresholds that require a staff representation implementation are reached.

For joint committees

Pursuant to article L 421-1 LC joint committees are constituted in all industrial, craft and commercial enterprises of the private sector which have employed at least one hundred and fifty employees over the last past three years.

The labour code also details the procedure for the designation of employer and employee representatives in the joint committee. Both I&C bodies namely the joint committee and the staff delegation are narrowly linked to each others. Indeed, employee representatives at joint committees are elected by the staff delegation (article 1 of the grand ducal regulation of 24 September 1974 as amended). Plus, article L 422-1 (1) LC adds that this election has to take place before the expiration of the month which follows the staff delegation designation.

In practice, it is not rare that staff delegates also have a mandate in joint committees.

In conclusion, procedures for establishing I&C bodies are strictly defined by law and are totally independent from either the employer or employees/trade unions initiatives.

(b) Please supply any available data on the extent to which I&C bodies have been:

(i) requested by employees(ii) requested by trade unions(iii) initiated unilaterally by employers.

c) Have the national government and/or the social partners in your country actively promoted the establishment of I&C bodies? If so, how have they done this?

The establishment of I&C bodies is strictly regulated by the law but the ITM plays a key role in order to smoothen the processes. The inspectorate put at stakeholders disposal an online platform exclusively dedicated to social elections as well as practical guidelines aimed at assisting employers in implementing I&C bodies in respect of legal requirements. The website can be visited under this hyperlink.

Here it is important to outline that social elections are under the employer’s responsibility and that the latter has no actual room of manoeuvre . The planning of elections is imposed by the regulation since the elections must take place between October 15th and November 15th of every 5th calendar year (see article 1 of the Grand ducal regulation of 21 September 1979 as amended), at a date which is determined by the Ministry of Labour and which aims at all the staff delegations to be implemented or renewed on the territory.

As for the election of employee representatives in joint committees, the labour code (see article L 422-2) requires for their designation before the expiration of the month following the elections of staff delegates.

(d) What explains the absence of I&C bodies in some undertakings/establishments in which I&C bodies are supposedly mandatory or the statutory right to trigger their introduction applies?

According to the Staff Representation department of the Labour Inspectorate, fifty companies failed to organize the social elections in 2008. The reasons are certainly specific to each situation however the office could notice that in those entities there is no trade union presence.

Question 3: Constitutional provisions

(a) Are the structure, rights and functioning of I&C bodies in your country determined by:

(i) statutory requirements that apply to all establishments/undertakings(ii) organisation-specific agreements/arrangements that may differ from the statutory provisions, providing the scope for organisations to vary the design of the I&C body and the processes of information provision and consultation(iii) a mixture of the two.

The structure, rights and functioning of I&C bodies are governed by law and regulation. The labour code explicitly defines the type of representation in function of the type of entity.

Pursuant to article L 411-1 LC the principal staff delegation must be implemented at establishment level (from fifteen employees). Article L 411-3 LC grants the principal staff delegation with the possibility to request for the implementation of divisional delegations whenever the establishment encompasses a minimum of three divisions which have each at least one hundred employees on a regular basis. Here, the definition of divisions results from the employer’s initiative in accordance with the principal staff delegation. The code (article L 411-4) also provides for the implementation of a central delegation in case different establishments might constitute a unique undertaking. Under this hypothesis, the establishment-based staff delegations vote for their representatives at the central staff delegation among their respective members.

Law and regulation also provide for a specific regime which governs the staff representation in limited companies. Thus, employees’ interests are even represented in boards and supervisory boards (see articles L 426-3 and L 426-4 LC).

(b) To what extent can and do organisation-specific agreements/arrangements differ from national statutory requirements on I&C? What motivates the parties to introduce such agreements/arrangements? Please summarise any available data on the provisions of organisation-specific agreements/arrangements.

The law gives the right to social partners to freely define the modalities of the I&C modalities. Thus, article L 414-5 (2) LC legitimates bargaining agreements that would differ from the provisions of article L 414-4 LC in terms of application of the information and consultation rules. For illustration article L 414-4 LC lists the mandatory topics which have to be submitted to the staff delegations’ information and/or consultation and provides for some formal requirements. Bargaining agreements would therefore entitle the staff delegation and establishment-based management to agree on different rules provided that the latter do not infringe the core principles and purposes of the information and consultation process. Unfortunately, there are no available data on the existence of such agreements in Luxembourg.

(c) Are the terms of organisation-specific agreements/arrangements enforceable? What procedures – e.g. complaint to external administrative or judicial authorities (please specify which) – are available for this purpose?

Note: Questions 4-7 focus on what is known about the actual practice of information provision and consultation in establishments/undertakings – not the legal requirements as such.

No information on this point.

Question 4: The main subjects for I&C

(a) What types of information are regularly provided by senior management to I&C bodies? Please give examples.

The law provides for the mandatory topics that have to be submitted to the information and consultation process both for the staff delegation (article L 414-4 LC) and for the joint committee (articles L 423-2 et. seq. LC).

The central secretary of OGB-L wood, rubber, ceramics, chemical, paper, plastic, textile and glass and the UEL were contacted upon the present EIRO CAR to communicate on the practical aspects of information consultation at establishment and undertaking level.

Their respective statements converged towards the same findings. Generally speaking, senior management tends to communicate on profits or the turnover made by the company.

The UEL adds the changes in the shareholding structure as one recurrent point addressed by senior management as part of I&C discussions.

(b) What issues are typically the subject of consultation between management and employee representatives? Please give examples.

See under point a).

(c) What issues are typically raised by employee representatives themselves? Please give examples.

Both interviewees listed working conditions among the main concerns of employee representatives during I&C consultations. According to the UEL, those concerns particularly focus on working hours and remuneration.

(d) Since the onset of the recession, to what extent have I&C bodies been a vehicle for dialogue and consultation over management decisions concerning restructuring and recession-related developments? Please provide a general overview with evidence and examples.

Once again, both sides acknowledged the favourable role played by I&C processes in finding solutions at the heart of the crisis. Short-time working schemes were particularly discussed between social partners in establishments and undertakings.

For example, the Conjuncture Committee’s press release ( Comité de Conjoncture, CDC) issued on 29 January 2009 identified the industrial and transportation sectors as those which experienced the most noticeable effects of the economic downturn. Those branches are also those which called upon the majority of short-time working schemes notably and experienced an intensification of the social dialogue.

This finding is confirmed by the Luxembourg Confederation of Commerce, CLC, which noted that several agreements aimed at preserving employment were reached at company level.

Question 5: The nature and extent of the I&C process

(a) How often do I&C bodies typically meet with management? Is it common practice for special meetings of the I&C body to be called to consider urgent or important matters? If so, on what issues?

The labour code precisely determines the minimum frequency upon which the management and I&C bodies are compelled to meet with each other.

Hence, article L 415-6 (1) in fine provides for a minimum of three meetings a year for the staff delegation and the establishment-based management whereas article L 424-2 (2) urges the corporate manager to convoke the joint committee on a quarterly basis.

The central secretary of OGB-L interviewed declared that, in practice, the management tends to settle for the minimum legal requirements. On its side, the UEL adds that beyond the legal constraint, the frequency of meetings narrowly depends on the quality of relationships between the management and I&C bodies.

As mentioned under Question 4.d., the exceptional context generated by the crisis led to the organization of ad hoc meetings to enable establishment and company-based social partners to undertake the necessary actions which mainly consisted in preventing downsizing.

(b) How does consultation take place? For example, is information on proposed changes provided by management so that employee representatives can prepare a considered view? Do managers provide a reasoned response to employee representatives’ opinions? Examples of good and poor practice would be helpful.

As for the frequency of meetings, the labour code details the procedure that has to be complied with upon the consultation process. It is here relevant to precise that the requirements vary in accordance to:

  • the nature of the I&C bodies to be consulted i.e. whether it is the staff delegation or the joint committee and therefore, in regards of the company’s size (see developments relative to the establishment of I&C bodies);
  • the legal form: indeed, a specific regime is applicable in limited companies (see developments under Question 3.a.).

However, it is interesting to point out the fact that the law only provides for generic principles that management and I&C bodies are free to polish through bargaining agreements. For illustration, it can be referred to the determination of information consultation modalities. Article L 414-5 LC authorizes the management and staff delegation to agree on modalities that differ from the provisions of article L 414-4 LC which lists some topics that have to be submitted to the information and consultation process as well as the form under which the latter should take place. The sole constraint being the compliance with the information and consultation principle as such and notably with the notions respectively covered by information on the one hand and consultation on the other hand (see article L 414-5 (1) LC).

As for the practical aspect, the central secretary of OGB-L reported some illustrations of poor practices. In some cases, the management could be reproached for providing I&C bodies with a too vague or imprecise information or even to communicate rough data depriving this way the latter from having a close look at it and therefore from fulfilling their mission.

(c) Is information usually provided on a confidential basis to the I&C body before management decisions are taken and announced? Are there examples of I&C not taking place due to confidentiality considerations?

Pursuant to article L 415-2 (1) §2 LC, staff delegates are bound by a secrecy obligation regarding the information which would have explicitly designated as confidential by the management.

Hence, it can be inferred that if not qualified as such, the information is not de facto confidential.

Nevertheless, anytime the information and consultation process is likely to severely impede the management or the future of the company or establishment or would compromise an upcoming operation, the management is entitled to refuse to undergo it. Yet, this right is conditioned to the existence of objective criteria (see article L 415-2(2) LC).

Article L 425-2 LC governs the principles relative to the confidentiality of information communicated to the joint committee.

(d) Please outline what guarantees and protections employee representatives usually have, e.g. time off work, training, material and financial resources, facilities, protection against dismissal/ discrimination, access to workers.

The Luxembourg legislation puts a range of guarantees and protections at employee representatives disposal.

  • First of all, is the paid time off work.

Pursuant to article L 415-5 LC, the staff delegates have to be paid during the time spent in fulfilling their role as it is defined by law. Besides, article L 425-3 LC explicitly qualifies the hours spent in the sessions held by the joint committee as working time which has to be paid as such.

  • Training

Article L 415-10 LC compels the employer to authorize the staff delegates to attend training activities scheduled during the normal working time and intented to enhance their economic, social and technical knowledge and consequently their skills as employee representatives.

Here it is interesting to note that only permanent staff delegates enjoy this right.

  • Material, financial resources and facilities

The employer has the obligation to put at the staff delegation (article L 416-7 LC) and joint committee (article L 424-4 LC) disposal the necessary facilities, to cover the related expenses and to supply the material to permit I&C bodies functioning.

  • Protection against dismissal (article L 415-11 LC)

Both permanent and deputy staff delegates enjoy the protection against dismissal during the mandate life length. Moreover, the law ensures them the continuation of this protection during the first six months following the expiration or the cessation of the mandate. Last but not least, candidates to staff delegation elections are also protected from the presentation of the candidacy and this, during a three month period (see article L 415-12 LC on this particular point).

Although the protection is not absolute, it is quite strong. Indeed, only a gross misconduct could lead to the termination of an employee representative’s employment contract the latter being necessarily ruled by a Court. Until the definitive Court’s ruling, the employee representative can only be temporarily laid off.

In parallel, article L 425-4 LC sets the joint committee’s consent as a mandatory prerequisite for the dismissal of one of its members. As for the staff delegate, the employer is entitled to claim for the termination of the employment contract in a Court in case of gross misconduct. Meanwhile, the only remedy is the employee’s temporary lay-off.

The UEL reports that some enterprises go beyond the minimum legal requirements and provide for additional resources. Owing to the costs inferred by such obligations it can be assumed that the bigger is the company the more important is the capacity to allocate additional resources.

(e) Can employee representatives seek external advice on how to handle difficult topics for consultation (e.g. from trade unions, external consultants)? In the case of the latter, who pays?

Staff delegates are entitled to call upon external advice. However, the rules differ with the size of the enterprise. It has to be referred to article L 412-2 LC (staff delegation) which provides that :

  • In establishments with at least one hundred and fifty employees

Here, the absolute majority of staff delegates can designate a consultant - whether a staff member or not – in order to sit a consultative vote in staff delegation meetings addressing predetermined issues. This consultant is chosen at the instigation of the most nationally representative trade unions represented within the delegation.

  • In establishments with less than one hundred and fifty employees

Under that hypothesis and based on staff delegates or establishment management’s request, the absolute majority of staff delegates can decide to call for a joint examination of predetermined issues by an employer organisation with the most nationally representative trade unions represented within the delegation.

Regarding joint committees, it is article L 422-3 LC which provides for the right to call for consultants - whether a staff members or not – who can whether be designated by employer organisations or by the most nationally representative trade unions.

Question 6: Practical outcomes of consultation

(a) What evidence is there, if any, of the consultation process resulting in the modification of management decisions and/or the process or timetable for their implementation? Please give an overview of the impact of consultation with examples.

The UEL acknowledges that the consultation process might definitely have an actual impact on management decisions. In practice, the process in itself often has an influence on the time frame wherein the decision is supposed to be enforced.

As for the OGB-L central secretary, the consultation process can be the opportunity to reach a compromise on alternative solutions which had not necessarily been considered by the management upstream.

It can be reminded here that it was notably the case in some undertakings or establishments were short-time working schemes were settled in replacement of downsizing.

(b) How many complaints per year concerning the operation of I&C procedures (e.g. employers not consulting in circumstances where consultation is obligatory) have been lodged with administrative or judicial authorities since 2005? Who were the claimants and what were the key issues? What proportion of these applications were upheld? What sanctions were imposed?

No data available.

Question 7: Relationship between I&C bodies and other forms of employee voice

(a) Can, and if so do, trade unions play a part in the establishment of I&C bodies and in their operation? Do external trade union officers often sit on I&C bodies? How common is it for I&C bodies to include both union and non-union employee representatives?

Please see developments relative to external consultancy in I&C bodies under Question 5.d. and on the role played by the most nationally representative trade unions.

Trade unions obviously play a key role in I&C bodies establishment. Indeed, candidacies to staff delegation can be presented through two channels :

  • by a group of employees which gathers at least 5% of the workforce when the latter exceeds one hundred employees, or which is composed of five employees when the workforce is below one hundred employees;
  • by representative unions at national level.

For more details, please refer to article L 413-1 LC and to the briefing note issued by the ITM on the designation of the staff delegation.

The outcomes of the social elections held in 2008 show that 46,4% of the 6 268 staff delegates elected then were put forward by a trade union.

For more details on the social elections outcomes, please see LU0812029I.

(b) Is there any overlap between the remit of I&C bodies and trade union-based collective bargaining? If so, how are such issues resolved?

There is no confusion between the respective roles of trade unions and I&C bodies. Their respective domains are clearly defined, organised and governed by law. While the first are dedicated to collective bargaining (article L 161-2 LC), I&C bodies are in charge of wider issues among which are specific topics there are informed or/and consulted about.

However, it might be relevant to quote here the statement of the UEL which considers that, if there is no overlap between the respective remits of trade unions and I&C bodies, there is definitely one problematic juxtaposition of the roles endorsed by the staff delegation and the joint committee. In fact, when both coexist, the information and consultation process will be carried out twice since, the existence of a joint committee does not question the staff delegation’s role.

The UEL suggests to organize I&C bodies into a hierarchy with the joint committee as the top. Consequently in companies, the joint committee would be the unique I&C body. According to the UEL, this solution would make the whole process definitely more efficient.

(c) Is the consultation required by the collective redundancies/transfer of undertakings Directives carried out via I&C bodies, trade unions or other employee representatives?

Yes it is. Article L 166-2 LC enjoins the employer to initiate in due time negotiations with the employee representatives to reach an agreement relative to the formulation of a social plan.

Here, the UEL deplores the overlapping of general and specific competencies regarding information and consultation. Indeed, article L 423-1 (3) LC grants a decision-making power to the joint committee whenever the employer contemplates to establish or modify the individual selection process of employees notably in case of dismissal.

Meanwhile, article L 166-3 LC (1) point 5 compels the employer to communicate to staff representatives (namely joint committee, staff delegates and trade unions if necessary) the criteria on which relies the individual selection of employees prior to the negotiation of a social plan.

The UEL points at the delaying effect of such overlap and one proposed suggestion would be to neutralize general competencies where a legislation provides for specific ones.

(d) Is the use of direct forms of employee involvement by management through such things as team briefings seen as complementary to or in competition with the I&C body?

No information reported.

Question 8: Views of the social partners

(a) What are the attitudes of the main employer and trade union organisations in your country towards (i) the value or necessity of I&C bodies and (ii) the operation of I&C bodies in practice, especially in a recession?

The UEL sees in social dialogue a way to ensure a good functioning of Luxembourg companies or establishments. Social dialogue is regarded as the instrument able to match both management and workforce expectations. Meanwhile, the UEL considers that the legislation might be in some cases obsolete regarding the evolution and changes experienced by the business environment as well as by the market place and employment relationships. One of the main concerns is the overlapping of different forms of employee representation within the same enterprise (please see developments Question 3.a.). The UEL emphasizes the importance of the quality of the social dialogue rather than the quantity.

As for trade unions, unfortunately, no official position can be reported here as no feedback was provided by the confederations contacted. Anyway, it might be interesting to quote the OGB-L central secretary met upon the carrying of the Rep study on paper sector and according to whom the legislation on I&C might be inefficient under certain aspects. Indeed, the absence of dissuasive sanctions against the failing employer deprives the information and consultation process from a huge part of its substance.

(b) Have the social partners, jointly or separately, conducted any review of the operation of the national regulatory framework governing I&C? What is their assessment of its effectiveness? Is there any pressure from the social partners for reform?

The UEL reported that the Economic and Social Council was seized in July 2008 in order to think on a potential review of social dialogue at company level. Both employer organisations and trade unions submitted proposals but no feedback has been issued yet.

Commentary by national correspondents

Actually and as abovementioned, the law of 13 May 2008 did not bring actual upsets in Luxembourg rules relative to the information and consultation of workers. Indeed, the local legislation already provided for such obligations before the Directive was finally transposed in national law.

Unfortunately, there is a noticeable lack of communication from social partners on their respective experience feedback. Yet, this might probably be explained by the pending procedure with the Economic and Social Council which opinion is expected to trigger discussions on a rewriting of the whole framework and to be followed by the release of stakeholders’ official stands on it.

Guy Castegnaro & Ariane Claverie, Castegnaro Cabinet d’avocats, member of Ius Laboris

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