Luxembourg should make it easier to hire non-EU workers
Luxembourg should recognise that younger workers switch jobs and even career fields more quickly than previous generations and relax limits to non-EU workers from changing employers, the country’s industry lobby said.
Luxembourg has been struggling for years to recruit skilled workers and relies more and more on people outside the EU for talent, Fedil said in a report published last week.
But despite the increasing need to bring in non-EU workers, it remains too hard for new recruits or companies to get through the burdensome administrative process, the group said.
Non-EU employees who want to change jobs or sectors within the first year of their work permit must seek authorisation from the Foreign Affairs Ministry, Fedil said.
“Fedil is questioning how useful this limit is given that employees, in particular the younger ones, tend to change employer or even sector more often than previous generations,” the lobby group wrote. “This limit seems unjustified and outdated given the evolution of the job market.”
It is “absolutely necessary” for the work-permit process to be quicker so that companies can recruit required staff faster, Fedil said. It can take up to four months for authorities to process a work permit, with failure by civil servants to meet that deadline leading to the request being dismissed.
Advanced data analysis and mathematical skills are the top priorities for recruiters in Luxembourg's finance industry, the sector's lobby group, Luxembourg for Finance, said in a separate report last week. Attracting the right talent to the financial sector is a top concern for businesses, according to a survey conducted last year by Deloitte Luxembourg.
Due to a persistent talent shortage and a shift in workplace habits during the pandemic, employees in their 20s are demanding that work be performed more on their terms, with managers and hours becoming more flexible and their tasks feeling more meaningful.
Family members applying for a Luxembourg residence permit to join a recruited worker should be processed faster since long delays and “excessive procedures” that delay entire families from moving together could hurt companies, Fedil said.
Having to wait up to nine months to know if family members can obtain a residence permit is “very long” and is “a considerable hurdle for all non-EU persons to come to work for a Luxembourg employer”, Fedil wrote.
Luxembourg authorities should be more active during summer months in processing applications rather than letting immigration decisions bog down, the group said. Many non-EU workers want to start their new job around mid-September, in line with the start of the new school year, Fedil said.
Authorities should also be able to handle the process in English, despite the fact it is not one of the country’s three official languages, as those coming from outside the EU often have no knowledge of French, German or Luxembourgish, the lobby group said.