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A survey conducted by the Luxembourg Employers' Association (UEL) found that many employers were in favour of working from home.
According to a study of 1,073 companies conducted by the Luxembourg Employers' Association, a majority of employers would like to offer more remote work to their employees.
The survey's results, which accounts for 39% of Luxembourg employees, are rather encouraging for remote work.
Nearly 83% of companies that already practice teleworking "would like to be able to offer their employees 2 days of working from home or more per week, with complete tax and social security neutrality". This suggests that businesses are keen to place their cross-border employees on an equal footing with Luxembourg residents. As it stands, cross-border workers are currently limited by binding tax agreements with Luxembourg's neighbouring countries, and therefore receive differential treatment, which is often disadvantageous.
In contrast, 48% of businesses which permit remote work do not extend the practice to all staff, with some categories of employees prohibited from working from home. 6% of companies do not allow cross-border staff to work from home at all. Other sectors, of course, logically cannot permit working from home due to the nature of the work, such as crafts, trade, construction or catering, or any activity which requires in-person work.
There is a clear desire to adapt working patterns to permit more teleworking, with more and more employees requesting this advantage. Of the companies which already practice remote work, 40% say they have lost potential candidates because of limits set on working from home. This figure is constantly increasing, according to the survey results. Reducing long and arduous commutes is a key advantage to working from home for many employees, with journeys to the office becoming increasingly complicated and expensive.
Employers are therefore calling upon the government to take proactive steps in negotiating new tax agreements with neighbouring countries.
With the parliamentary elections looming in the autumn, the UEL has made it clear that the subject is open to debate, asking the government to commit to allowing two days of remote work per week. Among the UEL's demands are a raise of the European social security threshold from 25% to 41%, and an increase of the tax thresholds with neighbouring countries. Currently, Belgian and French cross-border workers are permitted to work from home for 34 days per year, while German residents may only work from home 19 days annually. The UEL maintains this threshold needs to increase to 96 days a year for all three countries, and calls for a simplification of the administrative procedures relating to teleworking.
It is now up to Luxembourg's political parties to react to the survey, where they may well take this into consideration for their election manifestos before October's elections.
Read also: Opinion - Why are we still debating working from home?