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Unemployment benefits in Luxembourg

In what situation can I claim?

If you have contributed to social security and you have been involuntarily deprived of your job, you may, under certain conditions, access unemployment benefits.

What conditions do I need to meet?

To gain access to unemployment benefits, you must fulfil the following conditions:

Full unemployment (Chômage complet)

  • be between 16 and 64 years old;
  • have worked in Luxembourg for at least 26 weeks (at least 16 hours per week) over the course of the 12 months prior to the date of registering as a jobseeker. This condition is not required of young jobseekers;
  • be involuntarily out of work;
  • be domiciled in Luxembourg at the time of the notification of your dismissal;
  • be fit for work, available for the job market and prepared to accept any suitable work;
  • be registered as a jobseeker with Agence pour le Développement de l'Emploi (ADEM).

Early retirement (Préretraite)

Early retirement relates to private sector employees aged over 57 who have entered into a special agreement with their employer. There are several forms of early retirement:

  • early retirement-solidarity (préretraite-solidarité), reserved for employees of companies which have signed a collective agreement or an agreement with the Ministry for Labour, Employment and the Social and Solidarity Economy;
  • progressive early retirement (préretraite-progressive), which enables eligible companies gradually to reduce their salaried activity;
  • early retirement-adjustment (préretraite-ajustement), which involves employees of a company in the event of the closure or restructuring of this company;
  • the early retirement of shift workers and night workers relating to private and public sector employees having spent at least 20 years of their career in a fixed night shift.

Further information about early retirement is available from the government guide of Luxembourg.

What am I entitled to and how do I claim it?

To register as a jobseeker, please contact the relevant regional office of the Agence pour le développement de l'emploi (ADEM) linked to your place of residence. Registration will take place on the date of first personal presentation with ADEM.

Full unemployment

  • The benefits period shall be equal to the duration of work, calculated in full months, carried out over the 12 months preceding the date of registration as a jobseeker.
  • All jobseekers who meet the conditions of entry can receive benefits for 365 days per 24 month period.
  • The maximum period of 12 months may be extended under certain conditions (age, ability to work or insurance period).

The amount of the benefits, within the limit of a certain threshold, is equal to:

  • 80% of the gross salary of the last three months prior to becoming unemployed; or
  • 85% of the gross salary of the last three months prior to becoming unemployed, if the person who is without work is responsible for at least one child for whom they receive family allowances and child benefits.

Under certain conditions, the reference period of three months may be extended to six months in the event of significant variations in the level of salary.

The amount of the benefits may not exceed 250% of the minimum wage, meaning EUR 4,996.47. This ceiling will be decreasing and reduced as the compensation continues.

Self-employed people covered for at least 2 years by compulsory insurance and who have stopped working owing to economic or financial difficulties, for medical reasons or in the event of force majeure, may also access these benefits, on the condition that they register with ADEM. The benefits are determined based on the income on which pension insurance contributions are calculated.

As a general rule, the benefits are paid without any tide-over period. However, for young unemployed people, unemployment benefits are paid after a period of 39 weeks (or 26 weeks in some cases) following the date of their registration as a jobseeker. Young unemployed people registered with ADEM within 12 months following their training may access benefits of 70% of the minimum wage, or 40% of the minimum wage for young people aged 16 or 17 and who have not passed an apprenticeship exam.

Early retirement

The payment period for early retirement may not exceed 3 years and the amount, which reduces every year, corresponds to:

  • 85% of the reference salary for the first period of 12 months;
  • 80% of the reference salary for the following 12 months;
  • 75% of the reference salary for the last 12 months.

The monthly early retirement benefits are calculated based on the average gross salary for the three months immediately preceding the awarding of early retirement, capped at five times the monthly minimum wage (making EUR 9,992.93 in 2018). In the event of progressive early retirement (gradual reduction in working hours), the amount of the benefits is adapted to the employee's period of working hours, on a pro rata basis.

Jargon busters

  • Agence pour le Développement de l’Emploi (ADEM): Public service in charge with guiding job seekers, establishing and paying unemployment benefits.
  • Full unemployment: workers in "full unemployment" are workers whose employment contract has come to an end, as compared with a worker in "partial unemployment", who is still bound by an employment contract but whose work is temporarily reduced or suspended.
  • Young unemployed person: a young person who has just finished or interrupted their basic training and who is seeking a job. The waiting period before receiving benefits depends on the duration of studies or the fact that they have taken professional training courses or carried out a traineeship.

Know your rights

The links below provide a legal definition of your rights.

Who should you contact?

L’Agence pour le Développement de l’Emploi (ADEM)

European Commission and national authorities dealing with unemployment insurance.

This page was last updated on February 15, 2020.

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