Luxembourg attracts many jobseekers from its bordering regions and countries due, in part at least, to its high salary levels. Not least is this the case in Trier, a small German city south-east of Luxembourg, from which around
28 000 workers commute to Luxembourg everyday.
Trier is just one small part of the larger Saarland (Germany), Lorraine (France), Luxembourg (Luxembourg), and Rhineland-Palatinate (Germany) regions which are together home to around 250 000 cross-border workers. Since 45 % of all workers in Luxembourg are non-native, this is where most of these mobile workers go.
It is against this backdrop that the EURES cross-border partnership in the region recently organised a European Job Day (EJD) in an old textile factory in central Trier – a somewhat symbolic venue given ever-changing labour markets. The EJD hosted 18 employers, most of them from Luxembourg, and together with EURES they offered around 300 vacancies to the 1 500 visitors.
Being a cross-border worker brings with it challenges, such as the daily commute, but also opportunities such as increased options for healthcare. The central idea behind cross-border employment is that the worker lives in one country and works in another. In practice this means that he/she relates to (at least) two administrative systems.
The general rule of thumb is that cross-border workers are only entitled to social security in one country and this is generally the country in which they are employed. As European regulations stipulate that a citizen is socially insured in the country in which he/she works, most German cross-border workers are covered in Luxembourg.
So what happens then if they want to go to a German hospital or continue to see their family doctor? “The good thing about being a cross-border worker is that you can choose in which country you want your health services to be provided. If you choose Germany, Luxembourg will pay the German system for you,” explains Annette Fehrholz, German EURES Adviser from Trier.
But how does Luxembourg feel about having so many non-native workers entering their country on a daily basis? The question goes to Nathalie Dock, EURES Adviser in Luxembourg: “We are very happy for anyone who wishes to work in Luxembourg. We have very good relations with the other [EURES] agencies across the borders and we encourage anyone with the right qualifications and experience to start their job search,” concludes Nathalie.