Short-time working in the event of force majeure

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In order to protect jobs and thus prevent redundancies, the Luxembourg labour law allows businesses, under certain conditions, to resort to various short-time working (chômage partiel) schemes depending on the nature of the difficulties encountered.

The short-time working scheme in the event of force majeure can be applied in exceptional circumstances to businesses who encounter economic difficulties following the occurrence of an event beyond their control and which prevents the continuation of their normal economic activity.

Any business making use of short-time working due to an event of force majeure undertakes not to make employees redundant for economic reasons.

During the short-time working period, the State reimburses the business 80 % of the salaries normally received by the employees during the non-work periods. Reimbursement is limited to 250 % of the social minimum wage. The business still has to pay social security contributions and salaries in respect of hours worked.

Who is concerned?

Organisations / businesses concerned with short-time working in cases of force majeure

Short-time working in the event of force majeure applies to businesses that can no longer carry out their activity due to the occurrence of an external event beyond their control, other than damage to the production equipment.

Short-time working in the event of force majeure does not include:

  • businesses in the building and civil engineering sectors as well as related skilled crafts sectors who carry out their normal activity on building sites and are unable to continue their activity due to bad weather conditions;
  • businesses that are unable to carry out their activity following a natural disaster or accident destroying or damaging their production equipment or premises;
  • businesses that have suffered from a decrease in orders from one of their customers due to a commercial decision taken by the customer or following the arrival of a new competitor on the market.

Eligible employees

Short-time working in the event of force majeure can be applied to all employees with their place of work in Luxembourg, employed under a permanent or fixed-term employment contract, and who:

  • are not covered by a certificate of incapacity for work; and
  • do no longer have any work to do or can no longer be occupied on a full-time basis when the company can no longer ensure the normal operation of its activity.

Short-time working schemes cannot be applied to apprentices, to temporary workers or workers having tendered/received their notice.


To apply for short-time work in the event of force majeure, the business must:

  • be established in Luxembourg;
  • hold, where applicable, a business permit granted by the competent authority;
  • be impacted by the economic or legal consequences of an external event which makes it impossible for the business to continue their normal economic activity. The event must not have been caused by the business;
  • undertake to not dismiss any employee for economic reasons.

Short-time working in the event of force majeure comes within the scope of complementary job protection measures which, if the company's economic situation so requires, can be combined and/or applied simultaneously.

Preliminary steps

Before submitting an application via, the employer is required to confirm, by means of the declaration provided for this purpose for businesses with (French, Pdf, 462 Kb) or without staff delegation (Pdf, 586 Kb), that the employees respectively the staff delegation, and, where applicable, the trade unions (in the event of a collective agreement) have been informed of the application for short-time working.

In addition to the application to be submitted via the procedure, the company must send an email to the Secretariat of the Economic Committee ( explaining and documenting its case of force majeure before the 12th of the current month.


Short-time working applications must be submitted at the latest by the 12th day of the month preceding the requested short-time working period (for example, before 12 March for a short-time working application relating to the month of April 2021).

Applications cannot be submitted outside these dates. Short-time work benefits can never be granted retroactively.

How to proceed

Filing an application

The employer, or their representative (e.g. a fiduciary), must submit the application electronically using their business eSpace on the platform in order to benefit from the short-time working scheme. The person submitting the application needs:

  • a LuxTrust product (e.g. Token, Smartcard or Signing stick); or
  • an electronic identity card.

All requests made through any other communication channel will not be considered and will not be processed.

How to create a business eSpace on

There are 2 possible scenarios:

  1. The person submitting the application is a new user of They must:
    • first register on; and
    • then create a business eSpace.
  2. The person submitting the application already has a private eSpace on They can directly create a business eSpace without having to register again.

Further information as well as tutorials in relation with the business eSpace are available in our dedicated help page.

Admissibility of the application

Le Economic Committee checks:

  • the existence of an external event allegedly impacting the business; and
  • if the event was caused by the business itself; and
  • whether the business really is unable to carry out its normal activity.

It submits a written opinion to the Government Council (Conseil de Gouvernement) who will decide whether or not to allow short-time work.

The Economic Committee sends an information email to the company informing it that the acceptance or refusal letter can be consulted in their eSpace on

If the application is approved, the business is authorised to use short-time working for as long as the consequences of the event make it impossible to continue its normal business activity.

The business must nevertheless renew its application each month and inform the secretariat of the Economic Committee of any change in the situation.

Validity period

Businesses must renew their application each month by logging back into the assistant.

Amount of allowance

The payment of short-time working benefits is made on the basis of a statement.

During the short-time working period, the State reimburses the employer the compensatory allowance corresponding to 80 % of the normal hourly salary received by the employee.

The reimbursement is limited to 250 % of the social minimum wage for unskilled workers aged 18 or over. However, if this calculation indicates that the compensatory allowance ends up being lower than the social minimum wage for unskilled workers, the social minimum wage will be used instead.

Submitting the statement

Businesses must complete the online procedure on so that ADEM can draw up a statement.

The declarant also has the possibility of downloading an XML list (French, Zip, 2 Kb) before starting the procedure on

In practice, for each month of short-time working, the employer or their representative receives an email/mail from ADEM inviting them to fill in the online form.

On this form, only the names and national identification numbers of the employees concerned will need to be filled in. ADEM will receive the other necessary data from the Joint Social Security Centre (CCSS).

The statement, together with the individual monthly statements (individual forms), must be submitted to ADEM, on pain of debarment, within 2 months of the month short-time working occurred.


All subsidies granted on the basis of deliberate misrepresentations will have to be repaid.

Subsidies granted on the basis of deliberate misrepresentations and as soon as there is deliberate failure to pay the compensatory allowance to one or more employees concerned or if the subsidies were used to other ends than the payment of salaries must be paid back. The beneficiary must reimburse the totality of the amounts received on the basis of all applications submitted and the benefits of short-time working will be withdrawn with immediate effect from the business concerned.

These offences are punishable by a fine of between EUR 251 and EUR 5,000.

Online services and forms

Who to contact

Ministry of the Economy - Economic Committee

National Employment Agency (ADEM)

2 of 18 bodies shown

Related procedures and links


Short-time working and temporary layoffs Creating a business eSpace



Further information

Legal references

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