Workers pile pressure on government for two days of telework
A petition calling for every Luxembourg worker, including cross-border employees, to be able to work from home two days a week has received more than 9,000 signatures in one day, putting pressure on the government to review tax agreements with its neighbours.
Working from home has many benefits, including a better work-life balance, fewer traffic jams, and less of an impact on the environment, the petitioners said. But teleworking also reduces social contacts between co-workers and can be a drag on creativity, they also said in their pitch to lawmakers.
The petition has received over 9,000 signatures since it went up on parliament's website on Wednesday, easily clearing the 4,500 threshold it needs for lawmakers to debate it. People have 42 days to sign petitions on the parliament's website.
It comes as special tax agreements between Luxembourg and its three neighbouring countries came to an end in June, meaning over 200,000 people from German, France and Belgium need to make their way back to the office, causing havoc on the roads.
Currently, cross-border workers from Belgium can telework for 34 days a year without having to pay additional taxes on their income in their country of residence. The allowance for workers from France and Germany sits at 29 and 19 days, respectively. That works out to be less than one day a week.
Roughly half of Europeans want to work from home at least several days a week, but a full two-thirds were not allowed to do so at all this year, an EU-wide survey found last week.
The Grand Duchy ranked in the bottom 10 for teleworking among EU countries. Less than 20% of people who could permanently work at home did so, and under half of those who could partially telework chose to do so.
The petition is now likely to be debated in parliament after the summer recess. A parliamentary commission can give the go ahead once it verifies all signatures the petition received.