Jean-Paul Olinger (Union Entreprises Luxembourgeoises): Let’s make it happen with sustainable talent

Less than 7 months before the legislative elections, UEL has released its propositions to develop sustainable talent, to ensure Luxembourg's future prosperity. As Director at UEL, Jean-Paul Olinger presents the organization’s mission.

Can you present your organization in a few words?

UEL stands for Union des Entreprises Luxembourgeoises and is the umbrella entity of the Luxembourg employers’ organizations representing all of Luxembourg’s private-sector businesses except for the primary sector. It is formed by the Chamber of Commerce, the Chamber of Craft and the employer federations ABBL, ACA, clc, FDA, FEDIL and HORESCA, who are represented in UEL’s Board of Directors and Executive Committee through their Presidents and Directors. Altogether, these organizatons represent 80% of employment and 85% of GDP in Luxembourg. Technically, UEL focuses on common topics, mainly related to social dialogue, such as employment and labour law, social security and tax. But we also deal with other key topics of interest to companies, for instance with a focus on sustainable development, ESG and occupational health and safety. Indeed, in 2007, UEL founded the INDR or National Institute for Sustainable Development and Corporate Social Responsibility. Its job is to promote CSR within Luxembourg businesses and help them contribute to sustainable development.Our initiatives are based on the principles of the social market economy, sustainable development, business ethics, good governance and dialogue.

“To ensure Luxembourg’s future prosperity, UEL is committed to develop sustainable talent, working closely with all committed stakeholders.”

What actions do you carry out within your organization?

 UEL works with all like-minded organizations to develop a sustainable, prosperous economy for the country, its inhabitants and the people who work there. It acts for an economy that attracts investors and talent. To accomplish its mission, UEL facilitates working groups and discussions with its member organizations on major inter-branch topics. It is thereby able to present joint positions to the public authorities and social partners which they can then review together. Major initiatives include Vision ZERO with AAA to reduce accidents at the workplace or the Partnership for employment with ADEM to address the future of work in different economic sectors in Luxembourg. In addition, UEL facilitates the employer contributions in the Economic and Social Council and European Semester and represents the employer interests in the governing bodies of the Luxembourg social security institutions covering accidents, health and pensions.

How do you see your organization evolving in the next 5 years?

UEL has been created as an organization in 2000, following the informal comité de liaison patronal. Maintaining Luxembourg as an attractive and competitive environment has since then been an ongoing exercise. To ensure Luxembourg’s future prosperity, UEL is committed to develop sustainable talent, working closely with all committed stakeholders. The priority will be our country’s ability to attract, train and mobilise the talents of tomorrow: individuals, businesses and public-private partnerships that are sustainable, scalable, and committed to the transition towards sustainable development. The outcome on salary and pension indexation, energy subsidies and taxation of the recent national tripartite talks between the Government, the trade unions and UEL have helped households and businesses to overcome the multiple crises. Longer-term, structural responses need to follow on housing, transport, work organization, taxation, digitization and public finances to foster qualitative economic growth in a united green Europe. The upcoming elections at communal and national level in 2023, as well as social and European level in 2024 will provide our citizens the opportunity to set the political direction. UEL will be present to provide insight into the employer world.