If you’re working in Luxembourg, this guide on labour law explains your rights regarding working time and holiday leave in Luxembourg.
Working time in Luxembourg
The law provides for a working time of 40 hours per week and eight hours per day. Time spent travelling to or from work is not included. The working day may not exceed 10 hours. In certain exceptional cases (serious accident or unexpected arrival of urgent work) working hours can be open-ended, or limited to a continuous shift of 12 hours. An employee can work up to 48 hours per week.
In cases in which the legal daily working hours are exceeded, the weekly average of 40 hours may not be exceeded over a consecutive four-week period. This is especially the case if the collective agreement envisages a longer reference period. Collective agreements can stipulate shorter working days than those that are laid down by law.
Workers should enjoy a rest period of at least 11 consecutive hours in each 24-hour period. All workers should, in the course of a week, have a minimum rest period of 44 consecutive hours. If they do not, then they must be granted an extra six days of supplementary leave a year under certain conditions.
Sunday work is forbidden apart from in certain sectors of activity or when authorised by the Inspection du Travail et des Mines (Labour and Mines Inspectorate), e.g., managerial jobs, trading in tourist regions, urgent work etc. Working on a Sunday entitles the employee to a pay increase of 70 percent. Employees may be compensated for each hour worked on a Sunday with additional free time in lieu of the wage supplement.
Night work means work performed between 22.00 and 06.00. If there is no legal rate, supplements for night work must be set by collective agreement. This supplement must be at least 15 percent. Young workers and pregnant women may not work nights. For other categories of employees, such work is regulated but not forbidden in principle.
Work on public holidays in Luxembourg
When special company conditions mean that work must be performed on a day that is a legal public holiday, the employee working on that day is entitled to a 100 percent supplement for each hour worked. If the legal public holiday falls on a Sunday, the employee will receive a further 70 percent supplement. This also applies to overtime, following the principle of accumulated supplement.
Overtime in Luxembourg
Hours worked beyond the legal working time (eight hours per day and 40 hours per week) when specifically requested by the employer, or when the employer is informed of these, are considered as overtime. Use of overtime working requires prior notification or authorisation from the Ministre du Travail (Labour Ministry).
Since 1 January 2009, the supplement for each additional hour worked is 40 percent for all employees (except for upper management), but the principle of one and a half hours’ compensatory rest per hour of overtime worked will continue under the law governing the payment of supplements. This additional hour is exempt from tax and social contributions.
Waivers to the regulations on working hours are provided for certain sectors of activity, such as home help, agriculture, hotels and catering, healthcare and goods transport. Furthermore, the working hours regulations do not apply to river transport firms, fairground establishments or family-run enterprises.
Leave in Luxembourg
At least 25 working days’ paid leave must be given per year. A longer period may be laid down in the applicable collective agreement. Workers must work for an unbroken period of three months for the same employer before they are entitled to take a period of leave. Leave must be granted and taken during the calendar year. In principle, the employee decides when to take the leave. The employer must therefore give reasons if leave is refused.
If the employee has not been able to take all the leave to that (s)he is entitled by the end of the calendar year due to the needs of the company or leave being taken by other employees, outstanding leave may in this instance be carried over and taken by the following 31 March.
War invalids, victims of accidents at work and disabled workers are granted an additional six days’ leave. Miners, and manual workers and technical engineers in the mining industry are given an additional three days leave.
Legal public holidays
There are 10 public holidays laid down in law: New Year’s Day, Easter Monday, 1 May, Ascension, Whit Monday, 23 June (a public holiday to celebrate the Grand Duke’s birthday), Assumption, All Saints Day and 25 and 26 December.
If a public holiday falls on a day when the employee would not have worked (e.g., a Sunday), beneficiaries are entitled to take a day’s leave in lieu of this day within the next three months.
Leave for personal reasons
There are certain circumstances that entitle employees to leave for personal reasons on a particular date. These include marriage (six days), death of a spouse, a blood relative or relative by marriage of the first-degree (three days), moving house (two days), birth of a child (two days for the father), marriage of a child (two days for each parent).
Leave for family reasons
This is limited to two days per year per child under 15. It is granted in cases of illness, accident or other imperative health reasons requiring the presence of one of the parents. Such leave may be split over separate occasions.
Any person employed in the Grand Duchy for at least one year without a break by the same employer and who wishes to care for their child under the age of five years at home is entitled to parental leave. This leave lasts six months per child when the parent stops work, and twelve months when the parent wishes to work part-time (for which the employer’s agreement is required).
The allowance comes to EUR 1 778.31 net for full-time leave and EUR 889.15 for part-time leave. Both parents are entitled to take parental leave; however the first period of parental leave must start immediately when maternity leave ends.
It is now possible to take three months unpaid parental leave for a child under the age of five years should parental leave not have been taken after maternity leave or the period of leave allowed on first adopting a child.
There are a great many types of special leave: for sport, education and cultural activities, for fire brigade, rescue and lifesaving volunteer activities, for development cooperation, adoption, individual training (80 days out of the entire professional career), language training leave to learn the Luxembourgish language etc.
Palliative care leave
A draft law envisages the introduction of special leave to provide palliative care to a terminally ill family member.