Luxembourg: Upcoming Amendment to Sports Leave Benefits
Luxembourg has introduced a Bill n°7955 (“Bill”) which shall expand the sports leave benefits broadening the scope of eligibility criteria beyond elite athletes. This bill shall become effective January 1, 2024.
Currently, employees are entitled to sports leave for 12 days per year per beneficiary, but the government has the authority to waive this limit based on a proposal from the competent minister. This waiver applies to individuals involved in special national executive preparation models, elite sports cadre, and athletes gearing up for Olympic or Paralympic events.
It also extends to technical managers and support staff associated with these athletes. Referees engaged by international sporting bodies for official competitions and training enhancement are eligible for the 12-day limit waiver as well. Additionally, for employees who manage the athletic schedules, managers’ leave is restricted to 50 working days per year per organization to which the beneficiaries are affiliated.
Eligible criteria: Starting January 1, 2024, the bill shall increase the eligibility criteria to include the following types of individuals (in addition to those who were initially eligible for sports leave):
- Athletes likely to represent the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg who are part of an individual national selection or senior teams of an approved sports federation governing a competitive sport;
- Athletes licensed by a club affiliated with an approved sports federation with a view to participating in official international club competitions, such as the European Cup or the Champions League;
- Athletes holding a license from an approved sports federation participating in an official international competition provided that they benefit from a joint agreement from the Luxembourg Olympic and Sports Committee (COSL) or Luxembourg Paralympic Committee (LPC) and the agreement of the Minister responsible for sport;
- Administrative executives and technical executives in order to promote their training and enable them to accomplish their missions;
- People wishing to follow training organized by the National School of Physical Education and Sports;
- Volunteers (natural persons) designated by an approved sports federation, an affiliated club, the COSL, or the LPC to participate in the organization of international sporting events recognized by international sports federations taking place in the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg.
Duration of the Leave: Sports leave duration will range from 2 working days to 90 working days, depending on the beneficiary. The maximum annual durations shall be specified for different categories, such as athletes with specific projects, technical managers, elite athletes, judges, arbitrators, and more.
However, a beneficiary shall not be able to accumulate more than 40 days per year (except elite athletes with a specific project as well as their technical executives).
Pay: Employees on sports leave in the private sector will be entitled to receive their usual pay and maintain position-related rights.
Proration and Limitations: The annual duration of sports leave will be prorated based on occupation level and annual working time. Sporting leave could be divided into units of not less than 4 hours each.
Administrative executives will have specific limits based on the size of the sports federation or affiliated club. Employees shall not be allowed to carry over the remaining leave to the next calendar year.
Take away – Luxembourg employers must take proactive steps to comply with the amendments before January 1, 2024. They must review and potentially revise their policies in order to align with the upcoming changes to the existing leave requirements.