French politicians push for more teleworking days
By Pascal Mittelberger and Andréa Oldereide
French politicians from the Lorraine region bordering Luxembourg piled pressure on Paris to give cross-border workers more options to work from home now that a pandemic-related waiver of the strict rules has ended.
French residents working in Luxembourg can do so for a maximum of 29 days per year without risking having to pay taxes in both countries, despite overcrowded roads and trains between the two countries and waning appetite among workers in general to come to the office after the pandemic.
A group of left-leaning opposition parliamentarians from the region met with French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire last week to urge him to start negotiations between the two countries, the Luxemburger Wort reported.
In July, a petition calling for every Luxembourg worker, including cross-border employees, to be able to work from home two days a week received more than 9,000 signatures in just one day, putting pressure on the government to review its tax agreements with its neighbours.
Currently, cross-border workers from Belgium can telework for 34 days a year, and those from Germany just 19 - less than one day a week. These rules are back in place after a two-year suspension during the pandemic.
Luxembourg and France have agreed in principle to raise the number of teleworking days for commuters to 34 days per year, though the increase is still facing several bureaucratic hurdles. Prime Minister Xavier Bettel last week discussed the issue with French Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne.
Luxembourg is an economic magnet in the wider region, with cross-border commuters from Belgium, France and Germany making up half of the workforce, a number that continues to rise.
Some 250,000 workers crossed into Luxembourg from abroad each day before the corona crisis, with the health care sector in particular being heavily dependent on doctors and nurses residing outside the Grand Duchy.