Working in Luxembourg



In 2008, Luxembourg set new immigration laws that would only grant permits to highly qualified individuals. Notably, this country has the highest proportion of foreigners in the EU countries; official statistics show 40% of the total population is foreign residents. 

Luxembourg boasts a relatively low unemployment rate of 6.2% which is one of the best numbers in the world. Foreign assignees make up a huge number of this countries workforce and can be found working almost in all parts of the country particularly in the capital where several large multinational companies are headquartered including firms that are listed in the Fortune Global 500 such as Arcelor Steel and Mittal Steel Company. Currently, Luxembourg makes an effort in prioritising the employment of its nationals which resulted in more stringent laws that intend to protect local citizens' rights in periods of high unemployment and to discourage immigrant trafficking. 

Luxembourg’s Leading Industries 

Generally speaking, Luxembourg’s economy is heavily dependent on three primary job providers for both locals and expats alike: 

  • Industrial
  • Steel
  • Banking sectors 

The financial services sector in Luxembourg is very competitive with a high demand for international executives and professionals. It is one of the country's largest employment sectors, concentrating on banking and investing, with back office functions such as auditing and administration. Other employment opportunities are in the aluminium and tourism industries. 

Luxembourg’s agricultural sector is mainly subsidised the local government and the European Union. Though it is considered small, the agricultural sector is also considerably productive and is accountable for employing around one to three percent of the country’s workforce. The government also continues on creating policies that’ll help promote Luxembourg as communications and audiovisual centre, making telecommunications one of the most promising and rapidly growing industries in the country. 

Average Salary and Benefits 

Expats are mostly drawn to the promise of a high salary in Luxembourg. The Eurostat also previously reported that Luxembourg topped the ranking for the highest minimum wage in Europe. Luxembourg's gross monthly minimum wage is at €1,642 followed by Ireland at €1,462 and Belgium at €1,387. It is said that drivers and street cleaners earn an average of €1,413 monthly or €16,956 in a year. Currently, the minimum wage in Luxembourg stands at €1,998.59 per month. 

Like in many other countries, Luxembourg pays a 13th-month bonus or Christmas bonus (prime de fin d'année or jaarpremie). A few companies even add half of a 14th month's pay, payable at the end of the year. Aside from the good salary packages provided to executives and senior managers, companies also provide benefits like a company car, private school fees, free home or loans and membership to local clubs or sporting organisations. These benefits, however, are taxable. 

Work Hours 

A typical working week is legally limited to 40 hours or 8 hours a day unless specified otherwise in cases of white-collar jobs. Working hours may also vary depending on the employer, industry of the company and your position. Overtime will be paid according to the extra hours worked. 

Some companies operate a flexi-time scheme. It requires all employees to be present at a block time between 8.30am and 11.30 am and 1.30 pm to 4 pm. Some employees make up their required working hours by working earlier or later than the required block time or by reducing their break time. 

Work Culture in Luxembourg 

Luxembourgers are by nature, friendly and informal with relatives and close friends but they also have the tendency to be reserved and formal towards outsiders. They are also quite private people who do not appreciate being asked personal questions specially when at work because they view at as an intrusion to their private lives. Personal matters are never discussed in the office, even with their closest friends or colleagues. 

One of the business etiquettes in Luxembourg is to avoid bragging about your accomplishments since it is viewed as a sign of poor breeding. When addressing a local, always start with honorific titles such as Monsieur or Madame followed by the person’s last name. The Luxembourgers are also deeply influenced by their hierarchical culture and it is of utmost importance that expats show respect to their older colleagues and to those who hold high positions. 

Business for them is no place for emotions so it’s best for foreign assignees to stay formal and reserved. The locals also prefer logical and reasonable conversations. Being blunt is the same as being rude which is why the Luxembourgers prefer subtleness rather than directness.


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