Since September 2006, employment relationships have been governed by a consolidated Labor Code, which replaced a variety of separate laws, rules, regulations and ministerial orders. Luxembourg employment law applies to all work performed in the country unless the parties have agreed to the application of the law of another country that is more favorable to the employee.
Hours & Pay Regulations
The normal workday in Luxembourg is eight hours, the normal workweek 40 hours. Pursuant to a work organization or flextime plan, however, employees may be scheduled to work up to 10 hours per day and 48 hours per week, as long as their average weekly hours during a four week period do not exceed 40. The four week reference period may be extended up to 12 months by a collective bargaining agreement or with the permission of the Ministry of Labor and Employment. Labor Code, 2006, art. L. 211-5 to 211-7.
Overtime work generally is permitted only with the prior consent of the Ministry of Labor and Employment and only under exceptional circumstances. No permission is required when overtime is necessary because of accidents or emergencies, as long as such overtime does not exceed three days in a given month.
Employees (other than senior management) who work overtime are entitled to either 140 percent pay or compensatory time off of 1.5 hours for every hour, of overtime hours worked, and workers under 18 are paid double time. Pregnant employees may not be required to work overtime and workers under the age of 18 can only be required to work overtime under special circumstances.
Employees cannot be required to work more than two hours of overtime per day. Special overtime rules apply to the banking, transport, and hotel industries. Labor Code, 2006, art. L. 211-21 to 211-24, 231-232.
For work performed between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m., employees are entitled to a 25 percent premium above their normal pay. Young workers are not permitted to perform night work except as part of training in particular types of workplaces, such as hospitals, hotels, the armed forces, and bakeries. Employees cannot work more than an average of eight hours of night work, daily, over a 24 hour period, as calculated over a period of seven days. Labor Code, 2006, art. L. 211-5 to 211-7.
Employees who work more than six hours per day are entitled to one or more rest periods, whether paid or unpaid. A workday may include no more than one unpaid rest period.
Employees are entitled to at least 11 consecutive hours of rest in each 24 hour period and to at least 44 hours of consecutive rest in each seven day period. Labor Code, 2006, art. L. 211-5 to 211-7.
Sunday work generally is prohibited by law, subject to numerous exceptions, including senior executives; employees who travel to work outside the business premises; family businesses in which the only workers are close relatives, ; workers, in places where drinks are served, such as hotels, restaurants, and pubs; employees in pharmacies, drugstores, hospitals, and other medical facilities; farmers; workers in places of entertainment; and many others.
Employees who work on Sunday are entitled to a compensatory day off plus 70 percent of their normal hourly rate or may be compensated for each hour worked on a Sunday with additional free time in lieu of the wage supplement. Employees who work four hours or less are entitled to half a day off and employees who work more than four hours are entitled to a full day off.
Employees under the age of 18 who work Sundays are entitled to twice their normal hourly rate. Employees who work on Sundays are entitled to 70 percent of their normal hourly rate. Labor Code, 2006, art. L. 211-5 to 211-7.
Employees are entitled to the following 11 national holidays per year with pay:
- New Year’s Day (Jan. 1)
- Easter Monday
- Labor Day (May 1)
- Europe Day
- Whit Monday
- National Day (June 23)
- Assumption (Aug. 15)
- All Saints’ Day (Nov. 1)
- Christmas Day (Dec. 25)
- Boxing Day (Dec. 26)
If a holiday falls on a Sunday or other day off, workers get an additional day off within three months.
Employees required to work on a public holiday are entitled to additional compensation, depending on the day of the week the employee is required to work, and the established regular work schedule.
- If an employee works on a public holiday which falls on a normal working day, he is entitled to his normal remuneration, the average hourly wage for the hours actually worked and a 100% premium for the hours worked.
- If an employee works on a public holiday which falls on a non-working day ( except Sunday), he is entitled to the average hourly wage for the hours he actually worked, a surcharge of 100% of these hours actually worked and a day of vacation as compensation, which he must take within 3 months.
- If an employee works on a public holiday which falls on a non-working day which falls on a Sunday, he is entitled to the average hourly wage for the hours he actually worked, a surcharge of 100% of these hours due to holiday work, a surcharge of 70% of these hours due to Sunday employment and a day of vacation as compensation, which must take within 3 months.
If the employee works overtime hours on a public holiday he is entitled to either a wage supplement of 40% or an additional rest period of 1.5 hours per hour worked. Labor Code, 2006, L. 232-1 to 232-7.
Employees who have completed at least three months of uninterrupted service with their employer are entitled to a minimum of 26 days of annual leave with pay. During the first year of employment, paid leave accrues at a rate of one-twelfth per full month of work. Only those fractions of a month exceeding 15 days are deemed a full month’s work. Employees must take their annual leave in full during the current year. However, any remaining annual leave may be deferred until 31 March of the following year if the employee was not able to take leave due to the company’s operational needs.
Annual leave generally must be taken during the calendar year in which it is earned. If the business needs of the employer have precluded an employee from taking leave during the calendar year, however, the deadline to take annual leave may be extended to March 31 of the following year. Employees need not take the entire 25 days in one increment but must take at least 12 consecutive working days off at some point during the year.
Workers with disabilities, mine workers, and workers whose schedules do not allow them to receive at least 44 hours of continuous rest per week are entitled to additional leave. Labor Code, 2006, L. 233-2 to 233-15.
Effective January 1, 2021, the unskilled employees’ minimum monthly wages increased from EUR 2,141.99 gross to EUR 2,201.93 gross; and raising qualified employees’ minimum monthly wages from EUR 2,570.39 gross to EUR 2,642.32 gross.
The above information on minimum wages might not be up to date & subject to change. Kindly access the Eurostat website for the current rates.
Employees are entitled to paid sick leave from the first day of illness or injury up to a maximum of 78 weeks in a 104 week reference period. Private sector office workers have their salary paid by their employer for the month in which the sickness occurs up to three successive months. Employees must notify the employer on the first day of absence from work due to illness or injury. No later than the third day, the employee must submit a medical certificate confirming the inability to work and stating the expected duration of the absence. Labor Code, 2006, L. 232-3, 121-6.
To receive maternity leave benefits, the female employee must be a resident of Luxembourg and generally must have worked the six months prior to pregnancy. Pregnant employees are entitled to at least 20 weeks of paid maternity leave, beginning 8 weeks before the due date and continuing for 12 weeks afterward. The maternity allowance is paid by the National Healthcare Fund. When the birth occurs before or after the expected date, the remaining maternity leave is extended or reduced so that the employee receives a full 16 weeks of leave.
Maternity leave is extended by four weeks for breast-feeding, multiple births, or premature birth. At the end of maternity leave, the employee may delay returning to work for one year to take care of her child without subjecting herself to termination indemnities. If she asks to be reemployed during that year, her employer must give her priority in positions for which she is qualified. If she is reemployed, the employer must provide her with the same benefits she received at the time of maternity leave. The employee continues to accrue annual leave while on maternity leave.
The employee must submit a medical certificate of pregnancy to the employer and to social security authorities no later than 10 weeks before the expected due date. In addition, each parent is entitled to six months of full-time parental leave or, with the employer’s permission, 12 months of part-time leave to care for a newborn child. The entire period of parental leave must be taken at one time—it may not be divided into shorter segments. If part-time leave is taken, the parent must work less than half his or her normal hours. Full-time parental leave may not be taken at the same time by both parents, but they can take part-time leave at the same time to make sure the child is continuously cared for by one of them. If parental leave is not taken immediately after completion of maternity leave, the parent may take reduced unpaid leave of four months at any time until the child reaches 5 years of age. Labor Code, 2006, L. 332-1 to 332-4; New Law on Family Leave, December 13, 2017, art. 9.
A father is entitled to 10 days’ leave with pay for the birth of a child. In addition, each parent is entitled to six months of full-time parental leave or, with the employer’s permission, 12 months of part-time leave to care for a newborn child. The entire period of parental leave must be taken at one time—it may not be divided into shorter segments. If part-time leave is taken, the parent must work less than half his or her normal hours. Full-time parental leave may not be taken at the same time by both parents, but they can take part-time leave at the same time to make sure the child is continuously cared for by one of them. If parental leave is not taken immediately after completion of maternity leave, the parent may take a reduced unpaid leave of three months at any time until the child reaches 5 years of age. Labor Code, 2006, L. 233-16, 234-44; New Law on Family Leave, December 13, 2017.
Employees are entitled to family leave to take care of a child under the age of 15 who is suffering from a serious illness or injury. Leave is limited to two days per year per child, although in exceptional circumstances the two day limits may be extended with the approval of the Social Security Medical Control Board. An employee taking family leave must notify the employer on the day of the leave of the necessity of the absence and provide the employer with a medical certificate.
Support leave is available to an employee who wants to spend time with or care for a parent, sibling, spouse or partner who is suffering from a terminal illness. The employee is entitled to five working days a year of support leave, which does not have to be taken together. The employee must notify his or her employer in person or in writing no later than the first day of absence and must present a medical certificate substantiating the relative or partner’s condition.
Parental leave enables the parents of a young child to take a break from their professional career or reduce their working time in order to devote themselves more fully to the education of their child. They are guaranteed to be able to return to their previous jobs at the end of the leave. The parent can request:
- Either the first parental leave: to be taken following the maternity or adoption leave;
- Or the second parental leave: to be taken before the child’s 6th birthday (the 12th birthday for adopted children).
Parental leave is only granted once for the same child. If one of the parents renounces their right to parental leave, it cannot be transferred to the other parent in order for the latter to take 2 parental leaves. During parental leave, the parent is entitled to an allowance that replaces the salary and is granted by the Children’s Future Fund.
Each parent is entitled to parental leave for each of their children after the birth or the adoption of one or several children. Parents can take parental leave as long as the children have not reached the age of 6 (12 in case of adoption).
In order to be granted the right to take parental leave, the (future) parent must be compulsorily registered with the Luxembourg social security at the moment of the birth or adoption of the child(ren) without any interruptions of more than 7 days in total, during at least 12 continuous months before the beginning of the parental leave.
A salaried worker whose trial period ends after the maternity or adoption leave can only request the second parental leave. Parental leave can only be requested after the end of the trial period. At the end of parental leave, an employee must be reinstated to their job or to a similar job (in terms of pay and qualifications).
Employees are entitled to eight weeks of paid leave when a child younger than 6 years old is adopted, 12 weeks when more than one child is adopted, and two days of paid leave for the adoption of older children through 15 years of age.
Employees are entitled to paid leave for the following:
- Enrollment for military service (one day’s leave);
- Death of a grandparent, grandchild, brother-in-law, or sister-in-law (one day);
- The marriage of a child (two days);
- Moving (two days);
- Death of a spouse, parent, sibling, child, parent-in-law, son-in-law, or daughter-in-law (five days);
- Marriage (six days); and
- Adoption of a child under age 16 except when adoption leave has already been provided (two days).
Labor Code, 2006, L. 233-16, 234-43, 234-56, 234-65; Law of November 3, 2016; New Law on Family Leave, December 13, 2017.
Last updated on: January 5th, 2021