Illegal employment of third country nationals is a reality in Luxembourg. However, as well as in the case of grey and informal economy, it is rather hard to grasp or quantify to which extent. Nevertheless, the problem is not as significant as the one of the posted workers which is more relevant and worrisome and needs to be situated in the context of a labour market of the Greater Region.
In the past, several labour related regularisation measures have been implemented in Luxembourg in order to provide both employers and employees the possibility to regularise situations of illegal employment. The last labour related regularisation measure was implemented in early 2013 in the context of the transposition of the Employers’ Sanctions Directive 2009/52 by law of 21 December 2012. During this regularisation, the Directorate of Immigration received 664 applications. These regularisations give a partial indication of the extent of the phenomenon, even though these numbers do not provide a real picture of the problem because the conditions of this regularisation were very strict and in a very short time frame (less than two months) and a certain number of irregular migrants’ workers were not willing to expose themselves by applying and preferred to remain undetected. This regularisation also provided information on the main sectors were the phenomenon is found in order of importance: HORECA, cleaning, crafts, industry and construction. The Ministry of Labour, Employment and Social and Solidary Economy at the end of the regularisation has insisted in the need to increase the number of controls to employers. The law of 21 December 2012 established administrative as well as criminal sanctions for employers who illegally employ irregularly staying third country nationals, particularly in relation to offenses to the Labour Code in aggravating circumstances. This law amended also article 89 of the Immigration Law abrogating the possibility of making labour related regularisations.
The Inspectorate of Labour (‘Inspection de Travail et des Mines’, hereafter called ITM), which is in charge of labour inspections and the control of illegal employment of TCNs in Luxembourg, is currently going through a restructuring phase following the latest audit of this administration from January 2015. Particularly the current insufficient number of staff of the ITM, which is in need of a significant short term increase of staff, represents a main challenge in the field of illegal employment in Luxembourg. It is also in the context of this restructuring phase of the responsible administration that the drafting of this study presented a number of challenges, especially in relation to the operational and statistical part of the template.
Do not hesitate to consult the full study for all the details (attached below).