Protection against moral harassment at work was not yet regulated by the Luxembourg law. The only applicable instrument was the Convention on Harassment and Violence at Work, dated 25 June 2009, between the OGB-L and LCGB trade unions. It was found to be of general application by a Grand-ducal regulation of 15 December 2009.
However, on 9 March 2023, the Luxembourg Parliament adopted a law introducing a new legal framework into the Labor code to fight against moral harassment during employment. On 5 April 2023, the New Law was published in the Luxembourg official gazette, and entered into force on 9 April 2023.
The law contains a definition of moral harassment in the course of employment, new obligations for employers, especially on the implementation of preventive measures and procedures to fight against moral harassment at work, a protection mechanism for employees, and new attributions for the staff representatives in the prevention and fight against moral harassment.
Moral harassment is now (broadly) defined, as “any conduct that undermines the dignity or psychological or physical integrity of a person, by its repetition or systematization”. This definition covers acts or behaviors committed by an employer, employee, customer, or supplier, occurring in the place of work, and also those occurring during business trips, professional training, and/or communication in connection with or caused by work, by any means, and even outside the normal working hours.
New obligations for employers include refraining from any act of moral harassment, taking the appropriate measures to ensure that any act of moral harassment against employees ceases immediately, determining the measures to be taken to protect employees against moral harassment, carrying out an internal assessment of the efficiency of the preventive measures in place, and the possible implementation of new preventive measures, or the revision of applicable procedures after consulting the staff representatives.
Preventive measures include providing a description of the options available to victims of moral harassment, conducting prompt and impartial investigations of acts of moral harassment, raising awareness among employees and managers of the definition of moral harassment, its management and the applicable sanctions, informing staff representatives of the applicable obligations, informing and training employees.
The New Law provides for criminal sanctions for the employer in case of non-compliance with the mentioned obligations (fine ranging between €251 to €2500, doubled in case of repeated infringements). It also increases the role of the staff representatives, who are empowered to suggest to the employer any preventive measures, assist/advise the employee victim of moral harassment, and assist that person during the employer’s interview.
Source: Global Compliance News, in collaboration with Baker McKenzie.