ALFI Conducting Officers Forum provides high level considerations on CSSF Circular 21/769 on Telework

In 2021 the ALFI Conducting Officers Forum was successfully relaunched with new chairs and immediately started tackling issues of interest for conducting officers in Luxembourg. One of the multiple topics that was addressed in the quarterly reunions was telework under the new CSSF Circular 21/769 on governance and security requirements for supervised entities to perform tasks or activities through telework (the “Circular”).

The initial entry into force of the Circular was scheduled for 30 September 2021, safe exceptional circumstances such as the COVID-19 pandemic. The CSSF has since clarified in a press communiqué in March 2022 that the Circular will apply as from 1 July 2022.A task force of conducting officers wrote a high level guidance note to serve ALFI members as a reminder of this date of application.

The ALFI guidance note points to the important sections in respect of teleworking. ALFI Members are provided with high level key considerations when analysing the Circular in relation to their individual telework arrangements.

The Circular is addressed at CSSF supervised entities[1], which for the purposes of the ALFI membership shall mean a UCITS Management Company or a Management Company of an alternative investment funds (“AIFM”) (together referred to as “Management Company”).

The Circular outlines that “telework is organised under the ultimate responsibility of the Board of Directors of the Management Company or anybody that represents the Management Company, by virtue of the law and of the instruments of incorporation.”[2]

Whilst the Circular expressly requires supervised entities “to take into account the size and the organisation and the nature, scale and complexity of its activities” when implementing teleworking, it is intended to provide additional guidance only in relation to the governance to be followed when implementing Telework solutions for employees of supervised entities[3]. Contractual relations between Supervised Entities and their employees are expressly mentioned to be out of scope of the Circular[4].

For ALFI members it is important to note that Management Companies are required to define a teleworking policy, setting out the framework and the limits under which telework is allowed. Although the Circular clearly states that no approval by the CSSF is required in order to implement, maintain or extend telework solutions for staff in a Supervised Entity, we want to highlight to our members that the CSSF may require ALFI Members to make available Teleworking Policies upon request[5].

Other key elements of the Circular to be borne in mind are the so-called baseline requirements (critical activities / robust central administration / key functions) and the Circular’s application to branches as well as the monitoring of the implemented telework.

A copy of the ALFI guidance note can be found here.



[1] See “Scope” on page 4 of the Circular. Supervised entities entail investment funds, banks and professionals of the financial sector (“PFS”). In addition, we note that the Circular applies to supervised entities and their branches in Luxembourg or abroad, to the extent that Telework is authorised in the countries where the branches are established and they comply with national regulations.

[2] Paragraph 17 of the Circular.

[3] The circular does not interfere in any legal provisions that are part of the mandatory public policy provisions (règles d’ordre public) or part of the Luxembourg Labour Code.

[4] Paragraph 14, page 6 of the Circular.

[5] Paragraph 36 of the Circular.

David Zackenfels, Senior Legal Adviser