Editorial - A dose of humanity

By Camille FratiLex Kleren Switch to French for original article

An administration is not just a registry office that applies rules to the letter without a second thought. Yet this is the impression given by the many disputes settled each year by the administrative and social courts.

The linchpins of the State, the administrations implement the laws and policies decided by the government and apply them to the people it administers, whether they are Luxembourgers or foreigners, residents or cross-border commuters. It is the face of the State that provides social benefits, levies taxes and organises the social life of the country. It's a face that sometimes lacks expression, empathy and understanding for people who don't fit into the boxes or don't meet all the necessary conditions.

This is what happened to the subjects of two recent articles in the Journal. Ronaldo, who suffered a serious accident at work, was shuffled from one administration to another, clearly without a competent contact person, before turning to the ombudsman, and had to fight for several years to have his disability recognised. A number of mothers spoke of their distress at being denied parental leave because they could not prove the required 12 months' membership of the social security system – and others were not entitled to maternity leave pay because they had not been registered with the Joint Social Security Centre at least six months before giving birth.

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