JobSwitch: (Temporarily) Lend Me Your Job!

The Chamber of Commerce via the House of Entrepreneurship, in partnership with the Ministries of Labour and the Economy, ADEM and Luxembourg’s Confederation of Commerce have joined forces to respond to a sensitive situation: the use of temporary labour loans to make up for staff shortages in sectors under stress. JobSwtich, a networking platform designed and managed by the House of Entrepreneurship, allows individuals to temporarily take someone else’s place in a company, as a gesture of solidarity.
by: Aurélie Mohr-Boob
photo: Kaori Anne Jolliffe
featured: Laurent Lucius

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With this, employees who are temporarily “Left on the Sidelines” can find a temporary job, within a legal framework, in agreement with their own employer. “The labour loan contract only concerns employees on short-time work (chômage partiel). Jobseekers and the self-employed can also benefit from a switch, but via a fixed-term contract,” says Laurent Lucius, coordinator of the scheme at the House of Entrepreneurship. As it is a voluntary scheme, JobSwitch does not provide employment contracts, but allows supply and demand to meet via an online tool.

Hairdresser to Shampoo Department, why not?

The companies most concerned are those suffering from a loss of staff (sick/quarantined employees, childcare obligations, etc) while the activity is more intense than usual. For example, the transport of essential goods (logistics) and the supply of food stores (supermarkets and hypermarkets), as well as market gardening and agriculture. Health is of course concerned, but already has its own platform. “The employees who remain in place are subject to intense days. JobSwitch allows anyone who wishes to take their place as a replacement, even if it is not their job. “Handling, placing products on the shelves and driving vans are the jobs most affected.” On certain complex jobs which require experience, the switch requires skills. For example, a hairdresser working in a private salon will be able to put his creativity to use at a shampoo department of the supermarket!

100% of the initial minimum wage

In principle, JobSwitch offers a win-win deal between the company and the “JobSwitcher”. The scheme is a tripartite contract between the initial employer who defines the duration of the switch period, the temporary employer and the employee. In a situation of partial unemployment, the scheme ensures that the latter will receive at least 100% of his salary. “But he can earn more,” says Laurent Lucius. Somehow, these volunteers are paid for a service rendered to the nation, but also for the risk they accept to take by going to work instead of staying home. “We can see that it works well: As of March 31, we have registered 845 requests for 185 matches. 6 work contracts have already been signed thanks to JobSwitch.

The JobSwitch platform was designed on 17 March and made operational on 24 March. Luxembourg’s strength is its ability to react quickly to an emergency situation. This creates unprecedented chaos in economic activity, but we can see that these types of initiatives also give full meaning to the word “enterprise”.

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