The union advocates for an increase of the annual telework days for Belgian cross-border workers from 34 to 56.
In a press release (FR) published on Monday, the Belgian cross-border commission of the Luxembourg Confederation of Christian Trade Unions (LCGB-CSC) argues that cross-border workers from Belgium should have the same rights and duties as employees living in the Grand Duchy.
The latest increase in annual telework days for cross-border workers from Belgium, 34 instead of 24, was made at the bilateral summit with Belgium in August 2021.
The LCGB-CSC statement describes this move as a step in the right direction, but believes that there is still room for improvement. Spokesperson Carlo Wagener noted:
"The EU has a threshold for telework, which regulates when an employee falls in the social security system of a different country. That also affects if pension and healthcare contributions need to be made in the country of residence. The threshold is a quarter of the annual work time. We made the demand to increase and align both thresholds at 56 days."
According to the LCGB-CSC, it is in the best interest of Belgium to advance the situation as it puts them at a disadvantage when their cross-border employees pay taxes and healthcare contributions in Luxembourg while simultaneously relying more on Belgian infrastructure when working from home.
The LCGB-CSC argues that the entire daily commute of Belgian cross-border workers should be for free, which would in return help avoiding congestion on the A4 motorway. Wagener lamented that there was also a lack of cooperation on the car-sharing lane: "Such a lane was only installed on the Belgian side of the border without consulting Luxembourgish authorities. Now, no clear follow-up seems to be on the horizon on Luxembourg's side."
Expanding the offer of park-and-ride sites in the border area is proposed as another way of improving the situation.
The union further advocates that it should be easier for children of Belgian cross-border workers to apply for Luxembourgish student support. According to Wagener, administrative procedures can be overly complicated at present.