The political distribution of the deputies with seats in the Chamber reflects the election results, but their geographical representation is predetermined: among the 60 deputies, 23 come from the South constituency, 21 from the Centre, 9 from the North and 7 from the East. Regardless of their political or geographical affiliation, the deputies carry out their mandate within a clearly defined framework.
A deputy’s mandate: duration and arrangements for exercising it
Deputies are elected for five years. When taking office, they swear the oath in public session and commit to perform their mandate independently. They may not be bound by instructions.
Code of conduct: avoid conflicts of interest, declare income
Since the start of the 2014-2015 parliamentary session, deputies have been subject to a Code of Conduct that defines a certain number of ethical rules and standards. The aim of this Code is to guide the deputy in their behaviour when faced with potential conflicts of interest. For the sake of transparency, the deputies declare their income and financial interests; the declaration is published on the Chamber’s website on each deputy’s profile. The Code of Conduct is included in the Chamber’s Rules of Procedure.
Within their mandate, a deputy may not accept gifts with an estimated value of over 150 euros, or have their travel, accommodation or subsistence costs covered by a third party. A full range of sanctions is provided for, ranging from a simple warning to public reprimand to exclusion from certain activities or parliamentary delegations. An advisory committee supervises the application of the Code of Conduct. Its three members, appointed by the Executive Office of the Chamber for one term of office, advise the deputies.
Incompatibilities: exclusive mandate in certain cases
A deputy may continue to work in their profession, on condition that it is not incompatible with their parliamentary mandate. This is the case for civil servants, employees or workers performing work paid for by the State, by a public institution subject to government supervision, by a municipality, by a joint municipal authority, or by a public institution placed under the supervision of a municipality, as well as for officials working in a position paid for by the CFL (Luxembourg Railways). If a deputy performed one of these roles before being elected, they must resign when accepting their mandate at the Chamber. The mandate of a deputy is also incompatible with the following positions: member of government, member of the Council of State, member of the Court of Auditors; magistrate of the judiciary; district commissioner; state tax collector or accounting officer; and career soldier in active service.
Basic pay: payment of an allowance
The Chamber allocates a monthly allowance to deputies. Deputies are also entitled to attendance fees for their participation in plenary sessions and in committee meetings. Up to a defined limit, they may also obtain reimbursement for expenses incurred by hiring an employee.
Additional remuneration: political leave and special pension
Private sector employees are entitled to political leave of up to 20 hours to carry out their mandate. During the political leave period, the deputy in question still receives remuneration for their professional occupation. The Chamber reimburses the employer for the gross pay and the employer’s social security contributions, up to a specific maximum hourly rate. Deputies coming from a position paid by the State or a municipality which is incompatible with their mandate, as well as those coming from a public institution controlled by the State or a municipality receive a special pension paid for by the State. Members performing freelance professions or persons with no profession under the age of 65 who carry out the mandate of deputy receive hourly compensation from the Chamber, set at a standard amount of double the minimum social wage for qualified workers with dependants.
Legal action: possibility of prosecution
No legal action, either civil or criminal, may be brought against a deputy due to their opinions or votes when performing their duties. In all other cases, deputies may be prosecuted in criminal proceedings. However, the arrest of a deputy during the session period is subject to the prior authorisation of the Chamber, unless they are caught red-handed. The prior authorisation of the Chamber is not required for the enforcement of sentences passed against a deputy, even those depriving them of their freedom.