More older workers in companies | LISER

More older workers in companies

The share of workers aged 50 and over has more than doubled over the past 26 years (11% in 1994 compared to 26.2% in 2020). This phenomenon affects all companies, whatever their size.

Towards an age management plan

Despite all its effort, keeping older workers in work continues to be a major challenge for Luxembourg, which remains below the targets set by the European strategies (Lisbon and EU2020). In this respect, in April, 2014, the government put forward a bill to introduce new measures regarding age management policy. A main feature of the bill is the introduction of a compulsory age management plan for companies employing 150 workers or more.

Companies of all sizes concerned

Businesses with only one employee have the largest share of older workers (44% in 2020). For other companies, the share is between 25 and 30%. The ageing of Luxembourg’s actively working population is now underway, and every company is affected, whatever its size. Whether within the legal framework or on a less formal basis, in the future they will all have to think of ways of keeping older workers in jobs.

In the framework of the European year (i.e. 2012) for active ageing and solidarity between generations, LISER has developed, at the request of and in collaboration with the Ministry for Labour, Employment and the social and solidarity Economy, a research program concerning older workers and active ageing in Luxembourg. The aim of this program was to contribute to the reflection of Ministry on a proposition of a new law with respect to age policy measures (still in discussion today - click here for more information) by providing tools for reflection on company policies with respect to the situation of older workers including unemployment or retirement in Luxembourg. During this research program, many indicators have been calculated, and the share of workers aged 50+ according to the size of the firm was one of them.

In 1994, employees aged 50+ represented 11% of the Luxembourg labour market. Interestingly, the rates were highest at each end of the company size scale. Firms employing only one employee* had a rate of 14% and firms employing 500+ people had a rate of 17%. Meanwhile, companies employing between 2-499 workers ranged between 8% to 9%.

In 2020, the rate of employees aged 50+ has more than doubled; increasing to 26% of the Luxembourg labour market. Firms employing only one employee* had the highest rate of 44% and firms employing 500+ people had a rate of 25%.  Meanwhile, companies employing between 2-499 workers saw the largest rate increase, rising to a share of 25% to 30% from 8% to 9% in 1994.

We therefore observe ageing of occupied labour force in Luxembourg since the share of older workers aged 50 years and over has more than doubled in 26 years. As we can see, this phenomenon concerns all companies regardless of their size and that is why they will have to implement different measures concerning age management and active ageing, either within a legal framework or through more informal discussions.

*the indicator is calculated for all working persons in domestic employment. This does not therefore concern independent workers but businesses with one employee (worker, employee or civil servants).


People with a job in domestic employment in Luxembourg on the 31st of March of each year: including salaried workers ("statut unique") and the civil servants; excluding the unsalaried, unemployed and people not in domestic employment in Luxembourg.

*This field is quite different from the one used in the publication in which the indicator appears (domestic employment in the private sector). This is why some differences can occur in the results.


IGSS data (march of each year), calculations LISER

In order to respect the protection of personal data, IGSS has used a specialized software to round numbers in order to insure additivity of the tables as much as possible. Real numbers are rounded up or down to the tens of units (but not necessarily to the closest ten) so as to reduce the risk of identification and disclosure.

Reading Guide

In 1994, 17% of workers in firms of 500 workers and more were older workers (50 years old or over). In 2020, this figure has risen to 25%.

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