Main Changes in the Luxembourg Laws & Regulations for 2017
You will find below the main changes that will impact the Luxembourg citizens and employees in 2017.
Social Minimum Wage: The social minimum wage has been increased by 1.4 % to reach 1.949,88 € per month.
Personal Minimum Pension: The personal minimum pensions have increased by 0.9%.
Minimum guaranteed income and income for severely disabled persons: The minimum guaranteed income and income for severely disabled persons has been increased by 1.4 %.
Cost of living allowance: Renewal for 2017 of the granting of a cost of living allowance to low income households. The maximum upper limits of the global annual income have been raised following the increase by 1.4 % of the social minimum wage. The amounts of the cost of living allowance remain the same as those already in force in 2016.
Parental Leave: For a better work/family life balance, the new parental leave allows parents to choose from different flexible leave schemes which are better suited to their professional situation while they continue to benefit from a replacement income.
Chèque Services (Childcare Service Vouchers): Cross-border workers (travailleurs frontaliers) can now also benefit from the Chèque Services Accueil (CSA) system. CSA is the State's contribution to daycare expenses for children. It is not a cash payment to parents unlike the family allowance; it is a contribution in kind, paid by the State directly to the childcare establishment, which must be an approved CSA service provider.
Law on nationality: In order to facilitate access to the Luxembourg nationality to foreigners with a view to equity and social cohesion, the government decided to reform the basic conditions and procedures for access to the Luxembourg nationality. The law includes the following elements:
Jus Soli - "birthright citizenship" (first and second generation),
The conditions of good repute.
Medical Acts Reimbursed by the National Health Fund (CNS): It has been decided to reimburse the second annual plaque control and anesthesia for dental fillings, and plastic lenses for glasses and contact lenses that will benefit from better medical coverage.
Long-Term Care Insurance Entry into Force: The reform of the long-term care insurance aims to introduce fixed rate classes in lieu and place of a payment for each medical act and to strengthen the control of the services provided, in particular by changing the competencies of the guidance department and by ensuring its autonomy.
The New Law on Hospitals and on Hospital Planning: It aims to establish a new hospital plan to improve the cooperation between the different care providers in hospitals, so as to better use the available resources while promoting the quality of care services provided to the patients in hospitals. The hospital environment will change fundamentally, e.g. with the creation of competence networks. The increase in ambulatory surgery (the patient comes and leaves the same day) is also a substantial element of the plan. A unique national hospital ethics committee for each hospital will be created in order to ensure that the ethical requirements apply in the same manner in every hospital.
Tax reform: The tax reform is part of a large project to modernize the Luxembourg redistribution system. The main measures for natural persons aim to strengthen the households' purchasing power, and apply to the temporary tax for budget balance, tax rates, tax credits, very high income, meal tickets (chèques-repas), taxation of family models, cross-border workers, optional individual taxation, access to housing, sustainable individual transport and the fight against fraud. In addition, corporate tax rates will be lowered.
Simplified Limited Liability Company (Société à responsabilité limitée simplifiée): The simplified limited liability company (société à responsabilité limitée simplifiée - S.àr.l.-S) or "1 Euro company" is a governmental initiative whose objective is to stimulate entrepreneurship and to facilitate business start ups for entrepreneurs by reducing incorporation costs, a simpler, faster and more effective procedure of establishment, and, above all, a significant reduction of the amounts required for the subscription and full payment of capital as currently provided for by the amended law of 10 August 2015 on commercial companies. The text is essentially aimed at independent entrepreneurs who wish to start up an activity which does not require, by its nature, substantial start-up capital. The S.à r.l.-S is a variant form of the standard limited liability company (S.à r.l.) ; all the provisions which apply to the S.à r.l. also apply to the S.à r.l.-S, unless an exemption is specifically stated. The status of societal impact companies, which goes beyond purely operational advantages, implies the official recognition of the specificity of such companies. This recognition comes with a certain number of obligations in terms of transparency, which include an accreditation procedure by ministerial order and prudential supervision by the minister responsible for the social and solidarity economy.
New organisation of the criminal record certificates: The reform on the organisation of the criminal records is a full reform of the police records and includes the introduction of 5 types of criminal record certificates which substantially differ from the 2 currently existing ones. Certain information on the criminal records has been restricted in order to be aligned with the legislation in the neighboring countries so as to avoid unequal treatment between job applicants from Luxembourg and from the neighboring countries. As a result, several types of criminal records now exist, each with different information depending on the final use of the record issued. The law foresees that with the explicit consent of the person concerned, an extract from the criminal record can be directly issued to an administration or to a legal person under public law if they are processing an application of said person. The legal scheme concerning the records with driving prohibitions has also been largely modified as well as the duration during which certain sentences shall remain on the records. Furthermore, a special record "Driving Prohibitions" has been introduced. Where the driving license is an absolute prerequisite for a salaried worker's professional activity and where this prerequisite is stated in the employment contract, the potential employer can require that the job candidate must provide the specific "Driving Prohibitions" record. A new record includes all the sentences regarding offences against minors. This record can be requested by any natural or legal person who is seeking to employ a person for a position or a voluntary activity which requires regular contact with minors.
Housing aid: Creation of a physical reception desk. The ‘Klimabank an nohaltegt Wunnen’ package (climate bank and sustainable housing) is designed to promote the construction of sustainable housing, the sustainable and energy efficient renovation of residential buildings and to encourage sustainable energies in the housing sector. It is composed of the following tools:
The creation of the reduced rate climate loan and the zero rate climate loan aimed at promoting sustainable energy efficiency works and to prevent energy poverty;
The implementation of a certification system for the durability of new housing developments (LENOZ);
The reform of the financial aid scheme ‘PRIMe House’ with an emphasis on the construction of sustainable housing and sustainable energy efficiency works.
The guichet unique des aides relatives au logement (point of single contact for housing aid) was also created in this context. Hence, from January 2017, citizens can turn to a single point of contact, located at 11 rue de Hollerich, for all applications for socio-economic aid (individual 6 financial housing aid) or aid for sustainable energy and environmentally friendly solutions (PRIMe House aid).
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