Learn about Luxembourg’s minimum wage as well as the average salaries, which can help expats determine what they should expect to earn in Luxembourg.
Expats looking for jobs in Luxembourg can compare salaries against Luxembourg’s minimum wage. The minimum wage in Luxembourg is the highest minimum wage in the EU in 2018, set at €1,999 per month, according to Eurostat data.
The statutory minimum wage in Luxembourg depends on the qualifications of the employee, in terms of whether they are classified as a ‘skilled’ worker or not.
Luxembourg’s minimum wage (often known as the guaranteed minimum wage, or GMW) is assessed every two years by the government. Luxembourg’s minimum wage increased by 2.5% at the start of 2017, after the implementation of a new work code law and a rise in the cost of living index.
The minimum wage of €1,988.59, however, rises by 20% for those classed as ‘skilled workers’ and decreases by 20–25% for those classed as adolescent workers.
This means a skilled worker aged 18 or older must be paid 20% more than the standard minimum wage, totalling €2,398.30 per month, compared to €1,998.59 for an unskilled worker aged 18 or over.
Workers aged 17 or 18 face a 20% deduction from the standard rate and must be paid at least €1,598.87, while those aged 15 to 17 face a 25% deduction and a minimum wage of €1,498.94.
Even workers who earn above the minimum wage are affected by the national indexation of salaries, a barometer on which employers must adjust the wages they pay in line with the cost of living in Luxembourg. If the consumer price index rises or falls by 2.5% during a period, salaries in Luxembourg must be adjusted by this percentage.
Read Expatica’s guide for more information on employment contracts and wages in Luxembourg.
Luxembourg minimum wage per hour
With the standard working week set at 40 hours per week, Luxembourg’s minimum wage per hour can be approximately calculated as follows:
Luxembourg minimum wage per hour
As mentioned, skilled workers in Luxembourg are entitled to a higher minimum wage than unskilled workers.
According to guidelines set out by the government, an employee must have qualifications or experience equivalent to one of the following levels to be considered ‘skilled’:
- Education – A recognized official certificate for their profession. This can be a vocational skills certificate or vocational diploma.
- Manual skills and experience – a manual skills certificate or certificate of vocational ability and two years of relevant experience in the profession.
- Preliminary certificates and experience – a preliminary technical and vocational certificate and five years of experience.
- Experience – if they have no certificate, the employee must be able to provide proof of 10 years of practical experience.
- If no certificate exists – if the industry doesn’t have relevant qualifications, the employee needs to have six years of practical experience.
Some industries decide minimum salaries and working conditions based on collective agreements between representatives of employers and employees.
These agreements tend to exist in industries that have non-standard working systems, e.g. businesses that stay open 24/7 and those that operate unusual hours.
If the relevant industry has a collective agreement in place, the minimum salary must not be lower than the national minimum wage.
Employers must pay men and women the same salary in Luxembourg for equivalent jobs, and people on fixed-term employment contracts must be paid the same as those on permanent ones. The regulations also cover part-time employees, who should be paid at the same level on a pro-rata basis.
Working hours in Luxembourg are limited to 40 hours in a standard working week, after which employees must be paid overtime salary. While this rule applies to the majority of people working in Luxembourg, it doesn’t cover directors, managers or the self-employed.
The legal maximum working day is 10 hours, and the Ministry of Employment must approve any overtime. The government allows some sectors to employ staff on Sundays, as long as the work is voluntary and is paid at double the normal salary.
While it doesn’t exist in all industries, some employers pay a 13th month bonus to their employees at the end of the year or at Christmas. Alternatively, others offer a profit sharing bonus based on how well the company does in the year.
According to an OECD Better Life Initiative report in 2017, only 4% of workers in Luxembourg worked ‘very long’ hours. There were, however, differences in working conditions for men and women. While the unemployment rate for women is 10% lower than men, women were more than twice as likely to be employed in low paid jobs. The same dataset shows that real earnings in Luxembourg are now 10% higher than in 2005
Research by Luxembourg’s statistic office Statec shows that employees in financial services and insurance earn the highest salaries in Luxembourg, followed by electricity production workers, science and technical professionals, IT workers and teachers. The lowest paid jobs in Luxembourg, meanwhile, were in the accommodation and food sectors.
While not the top paid job in the country, OECD’s report also showed that secondary school teacher salaries started at €73,700, putting Luxembourg at the top of the earnings list across major developed countries.
Information on salaries in Luxembourg
- Luxembourg minimum wage – government guide (in English)
- Working hours in Luxembourg – government guide (in English)
- Annual leave rules in Luxembourg – government guide (in English)
The OECD provides an overview of statistics and comparative charts but you can also read Expatica’s guides to minimum wages in other countries:
Click to the top of our guide to Luxembourg’s minimum wage.