3. Health and Safety Measures
Requirements mandated by law or any official guidance.
- All health and safety measures concerning COVID-19 are continually updated and amended in the Amended Grand-Ducal Regulation of 18 March 2020, of which a consolidated version is being updated regularly: http://legilux.public.lu/eli/etat/leg/rgd/2020/03/18/a165/consolide/20200529
Measures typically implemented by employers and the associated legal risks, limitations, obligations and issues to consider.
- The Labour Code provides that the employer is obliged to ensure the health and safety of employees in all work-related aspects and take the necessary measures for the protection of the health and safety of employees (Articles L.312-1 et seq. of the Labour Code). This general rule also applies in the current exceptional circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Additionally, the Government decided in a Grand-Ducal regulation from 17 April 2020 that the employer has in addition specific obligations regarding health and safety at the workplace during the state of emergency (i.e. between 16 March and 24 June 2020 for now) linked to the COVID-19 epidemic.
- The employee must concretely review the circumstances in which employees may be exposed to the virus and implement the measures necessary to avoid or, failing this, limit the risk as much as possible.
More particularly, employers must ensure that:
- The rule of distance (2 meters minimum) must imperatively be respected. If not, people should wear masks or any other protective equipment to cover mouth and nose, which should be available to employees,
- premises and floors are regularly cleaned, work surfaces are cleaned and disinfected, employees are provided with soap, water and hydro-alcoholic gels,
- set up workstations and other premises or workplaces in which employees are likely to exercise their professional activity set up collective protection equipment which ensures the protection of employees in relation to other people;
- inform and train, in collaboration with the staff delegation, the employees on possible health and safety risks, the precautions that need to be taken, the wearing and use of protective equipment and clothing, as well as hygiene measures taken in the context of these exceptional circumstances linked to the COVID-19 epidemic and give them the appropriate instructions, post signs indicating the risks and the preventive measures taken in relation to these exceptional circumstances linked to the COVID-19 epidemic.
- However, there is no obligation for employers to conduct testing protocols or temp scanning.
- It is to be noted that the implementation of the above rules is subject to the control of the Labour Inspectorate (ITM- Inspection du travail et des Mines) and the Occupational Health and Environment Division of the Health Ministry. In the event of a breach, companies may be subject to administrative and criminal sanctions (fines and imprisonment under certain circumstances).
- The following guidelines have been published with regard to health and safety obligations for employers:
- Ministry of Health: Temporary health recommendations, including specific guides per business sector. Unfortunately, it is only available in French at this time.
- Inspectorate of Labour and Mines (Inspection du travail et des mines) : Safety guide for employers (only in French).
- Service de Santé au travail multisectoriel (in French) : https://www.stm.lu/news/covid-19-documents-utiles/