Your employer will be subsidised for making necessary workplace adaptations, such as height-adjusted desks for wheelchair users. / © Pexels
Whether you're a person with a disability or an employer, there's a range of schemes available to help people find employment or thrive at work.
Support is also available for those unable to work. It can be confusing to know who's eligible for what, so we've waded through the guidance to try and make sense of it.
Looking for work
Around 1,500 people with disabilities in Luxembourg are currently looking for employment. While regulations exist to ensure that businesses have fair representation of people with disabilities, the government has been criticised for failing to enforce these rules.
If you're available for employment and looking for extra support to find the right job, you must first apply for disabled worker status via the National Employment Agency's (ADEM) Disability and Redeployment department.
In the first instance, you should contact the secretariat of the ADEM Medical Commission to arrange an information workshop, which is held in French, German or Luxembourgish. A third party of your choice can attend the workshop, which could be an interpreter if these languages aren't suitable.
The workshop will set out your rights and obligations, as well as the procedure for obtaining disabled employment status. To gain this status, you will need a report from a doctor stating that your working capacity is decreased by at least 30% due to physical, mental, sensory or psychological impairment, and/or detailing if this aggravated by psycho-social factors. Full details of how to apply here.
ADEM will then make a decision on your case, which can take up to two months. They may require further details or initially reject your case, however, if this happens you can request a review. Once they accept your case, you will be referred to a Disabled Employees advisor who can assist you with your job search.
The assistance ADEM provides is bespoke to the individual. However, it can include:
- Help completing a skills profile which outlines your strengths and what skills and experience you can offer potential employers. This profile can be posted on ADEM's jobs board in an anonymised format.
- Help secure work placements or jobs, either in a conventional workplace or in a sheltered workshop, which is a workplace specifically adapted to the needs and abilities of individual workers.
- Access professional training internships, which offer the opportunity to gain experience and demonstrate your skills to potential employers. The internships last up to six weeks and, while unpaid, includes an allowance from ADEM of around 350 euros per month.
- Secure a professional re-integration contract. This is an agreement with an employer which includes a mix of on-the-job and classroom training, and lasts up to 12 months. Alongside your disabled employees allowance (see below), you'll also receive an allowance from ADEM of around 360 euros per month.
- Financial support including guidance in accessing re-employment support and reimbursement for training courses and associated expenses, including transport.
ADEM can also help you apply for disabled employees allowance, which is an extra payment available so long as you remain registered with ADEM and are unable to find work for reasons beyond your control. It is in line with the Social Inclusion Income, which is calculated in order to ensure a basic standard of livelihood.
If you're already in work, you can still apply for disabled worker status, following the steps outlined above, although as you already have a job you won't need to attend ADEM's information workshop. There are also fewer requirements for supporting documentation, see under 'If you are currently working' on this page.
Once you've obtained disabled worker status, ADEM offer support to the employer on related costs to make the workplace suitable, including: adaptations to workstations and workplace access; purchase of professional equipment and training materials; and reimbursement of transport costs.
Employers are eligible for state aid if they meet their obligation in employing workers with disabilities. If you're self-employed, you can also access this aid, which in practice amounts to a reduced tax bill.
Finally, as an employee with disabled worker status, you are entitled to six additional days of leave per year, which is pro-rated for part-time workers. You should request this formally via your employer.
Unable to work
If your disabilities are so severe that they prevent you from engaging in work at all, then you may be eligible for the allowance for the severely disabled (RPGH).
To be eligible you must:
- be at least 18 years old at time of application
- have a reduced working capacity of at least 30% due to physical, mental, sensory or psychological impairment, and/or aggravated by psycho-social factors
- be in a state of health that makes working difficult, or that makes it impossible for a job to be adapted to your needs
- have residency in Luxembourg and reside here
- if you already receive an income, it must be lower than the RPGH
The application for the RPGH is via ADEM and similar to that for disabled worker status (see above), but should include supporting documentation which demonstrates how your current state of health makes working difficult. More details here.
If your application is approved, you will receive an allowance, which corresponds to the Social Inclusion Income. The National Solidarity Fund (FNS) will be responsible for administering payments. If your circumstances change you must inform FNS, otherwise you may be required to make repayments.
Info-Handicap (website in French and German). Since 1993, the National Handicap Information and Meeting Centre has provided advice and support for those with disabilities, their families, and employers. Their website links to a range of other resources in Luxembourg, including the Resolux directory of organisations which offer social assistance.
ADEM. The National Employment Agency has extensive guidance in English for both jobseekers and employers. They're the first port of call for applying for disabled worker status too, so this website is a must.
Modes d'Emploi. This project provides resources and guidance for inclusion at work for people with disabilities. It has some information in English, including a practical guide to disability in the workplace.
If you're a person with a disability and live or work in Luxembourg, we would like to hear your experiences. We would also be keen to hear from employers. Get in touch via firstname.lastname@example.org.