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Finding EmploymentBack to top Back to main Skip to menu
Luxembourg - Finding Employment
Being a member of the European Union (EU) and European Economic Area (EEA), Luxembourg allows free access to all citizens from other member states, which includes the right to work without a permit.
From the accession of Croatia in 2013 until 1st July 2015, citizens of Croatia had to obtain a work permit in order to work in Luxembourg. These people still face restrictions in other EU countries, but Luxembourg now welcomes Croatian citizens on the same basis as other EU citizens, without additional restrictions.
If you intend to live in Luxembourg for more than 90 days, you must register your address with the local municipal office, or commune. You only have eight days to do this, so make it a priority, no matter how busy you are when getting settled. You will need to present your identity documents, including a passport. Within three months you should receive a déclaration d’enregistrement, which confirms and proves your registration is complete.
Anyone arriving from outside the EU and expecting to work in Luxembourg must have received their work permit before they arrive. Employers may not take on non-EU staff without first completing a lengthy process. To begin with, the vacancy must be widely advertised, including at the local employment office, or Administration de l’Emploi (ADEM). The employer must prove that no suitable applicants who were EU citizens applied for the post before it can be offered to a non-EU citizen. The individual must obtain an autorisation de séjour temporaire, the temporary residence permit, before they travel to Luxembourg, as well as the autorisation de séjour d’un ressortissant de pays tiers en vue d’une activité salariée work permit.
The autorisation de séjour temporaire must also be obtained by any non-EU citizen wishing to set up a business in Luxembourg before they arrive in the country. They must also be granted official permission to work on a self-employed basis, by applying for an autorisation de séjour d’un ressortissant de pays tiers en vue d’une activité indépendante.
Applications for the temporary residence permits and permission to work in the country follow a strictly applied process, set by Luxembourg’s legal and government orders. The process ensures the applicants are who they say they are, have the skills and qualifications claimed, and will not be a security or financial risk to Luxembourg’s population. Therefore, all applicants will be required to submit a number of official documents which must meet the official guidelines, with certified translations for documents not in French, German or English. A decision to approve or reject an application will normally be made within 90 days.
If your application to work in Luxembourg is successful, you must arrive in the country within 90 days, having separately received your permission to enter the country.
If you are a non-EU resident who has permission to stay and work in another EU country, but wish to move to Luxembourg and work there, you must apply for permission to do so. Your work permit in another EU country does not allow you to legally work in Luxembourg without permission.
In order to protect the pay and benefits promised to you during the recruitment process, you should sign a contract with your prospective employer. This will almost certainly be in French, so if you don’t have a good grasp of the language ask someone to translate it, even if you need to pay a professional translator to do so. Once you have signed the contract, you and the employer are bound to the terms and conditions in it.
However, a contract of employment will not be valid if it does not meet national and EU employment rules. For example, no employer may pay an hourly rate below the national minimum wage for any reason.
Some workers also have union representation. Annual salary increases and any changes to the terms and conditions of employment will be negotiated by the union representatives on behalf of the union members.
There is a continual need for experienced financial services staff to work in Luxembourg. Online jobs sites such as Jobs.lu and Monster list vacancies in English. They outline the role and employer, set out the experience, skills and qualifications required, and allow you to apply via the website. There are also a wide range of specialist recruitment agencies.
The government in Luxembourg runs a national jobs website, called agence pour le développement de l'emploi (ADEM).
This lists vacancies and offers links to a range of recruitment agencies. It also links to many useful pages about CV writing, obtaining police record certificates, and other topics useful to those seeking employment.
Since a number of EU functions are located in Luxembourg, there are employment opportunities there for EU agencies and organisations such as the European Commission and the European Investment Bank. With more than 12,000 people working in this field, the EU is essentially the second biggest employer in the country. For highly skilled individuals who speak at least two European languages fluently, there will be an array of interesting job opportunities available.
However, some of these jobs are no longer as prestigious as in previous times. Luxembourg has become an expensive place to live, and the EU wages have not kept pace. On the contrary, there are allegations that a practice known as ‘social dumping’ is increasingly used within the EU employment arena. This is where temporary staff with high qualifications are employed at pay rates significantly below what the permanent workers would receive to do the same job. In 2014, a three-day strike was called to protest against the practice, but there has been no formal acceptance that this practice will be dropped. This is an issue to be aware of if you are offered a temporary contract.
The European personnel selection office shows a large number of job vacancies on its website. This is a good place to start, and can give you an idea of the salary grades attached to specific roles.
Since Luxembourg has a number of other important industries operating on the country, there is a constant need for highly skilled and experienced individuals to work in sectors such as the chemical industry or food processing, as well as supporting business roles such as international logistics and information technology.
For those with fewer qualifications, the high cost of living in Luxembourg means staff in the retail and customer services sector can be hard to find. Hotels, spas and restaurants all need friendly, motivated employees to make their customers happy. Cleaners are needed in homes and businesses, whilst high net worth individuals require housekeepers and nannies.
If you are looking to work in domestic setting with accommodation provided, agencies such as London-based Simply Private Staff and Household Staff Agency may be happy to accept your CV and discuss your employment plans.
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