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 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 at a rate of 150 percent of the overtime hours worked, and workers under 18 are paid doubletime. 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 who work on a holiday are entitled to double pay. Employees who work on Sunday are entitled to a compensatory day off plus 70 percent of their normal hourly rate or can be paid 170 percent of their normal hourly rate.
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 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 can be paid 170 percent of their normal hourly rate. Overtime pay is added to this if applicable.
Employees who work four hours or less are entitled to half a day off; 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. Labor Code, 2006, art. L. 211-5 to 211-7.
Employees who work on a holiday are entitled to double pay. If a holiday falls on a Sunday or other day off, workers get an additional day off they can use any time within three months.
Employees are entitled to the following 10 national holidays per year with pay:
- New Year’s Day (Jan. 1)
- Easter Monday
- Labor Day (May 1)
- Whit Monday
- National Day (June 23)
- Assumption (Aug. 15)
- All Saints’ Day (Nov. 1)
- Christmas Day (Dec. 25)
- Boxing Day (Dec. 26)
With permission from an employer, salaried workers are permitted to celebrate a local or business holiday in lieu of an official public holiday. Public holidays that fall on a Sunday are usually observed on the following Monday. 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 on a normal workday, he or she is entitled to regular wages, a 100 percent premium for each hour worked and an extra day of leave. If hours on a public holiday are categorized as overtime, an employee is entitled to an extra premium of 40 percent or compensatory rest, calculated at 1.5 hours for each hour of overtime work performed.
If a public holiday falls on a Sunday, an employee who works on that day is entitled to the normal hourly wage, a 100 percent premium for each hour, an additional 70 percent premium for Sunday work and an extra day of paid leave. 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 25 days of annual leave with pay. 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.
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.
An employer may deny an employee’s request to take annual leave if the employee had unexcused absences amounting to more than 10 percent of the scheduled work time during the earlier part of the year.
While on leave, employees are not allowed to do paid work for another establishment, and if they do, they can lose their compensation for leave. Labor Code, 2006, L. 233-2 to 233-15.
On June 25, 2019, the draft law no. 7416 amending Article L. 222-9 of the Labor Code and increasing the minimum social wage by 0.9%, was passed by the Chamber of Deputies.
The expected new legal provisions entail that the minimum wage for unskilled workers will rise from 2,071.10 EUR gross (index 814.40) to 2,089.75 EUR gross (index 814.40). This 0.9% increase will apply retroactively to January 1, 2019.
Employers will carry about one-third of the costs of such measures, while the remaining two thirds will be paid by the Luxembourg state through the predicted minimum wage tax-credit system.
As the minimum wage tax-credit and the 0.9% increase in the minimum social wage both apply retroactively to January 1, 2019, nearly 60,000 employees in Luxembourg will receive an additional net amount of around 600 EUR with their July 2019 salary.
There are several levels of the minimum wage in Luxembourg: a general minimum wage, a rate for skilled workers set at 120 percent of the general rate and two rates for workers under age 18, set at 80 and 75 percent of the general rate, respectively. The current minimum wage is set at 2,398.30 euros per month for skilled workers over 18 years of age and 1,998.59 euros per month for unskilled workers over 18.
To be considered a skilled worker, one must have any of the following qualifications:• a technical and professional proficiency certificate or it’s equivalent –
- A manual skill certificate plus at least two years of experience in the relevant trade,
- A technical and professional preliminary certificate plus at least five years of experience in the relevant trade, or
- At least 10 years of experience in the trade.
An employer who fails to pay the applicable minimum wage is subject to a fine of 251 euros to 25,000 euros. For a second violation within two years, the maximum fine may be doubled.
Luxembourg adjusts its minimum wage every two years based on fluctuations in average wage levels in the country. In addition, salaries are adjusted in line with the cost of living. When the consumer price index increases or decreases by 2.5 percent during the previous six months, salaries are normally adjusted by the same proportion. In such cases, employers must adjust all wages accordingly. Labor Code, 2006, art. L. 222-10.
Employees are entitled to paid sick leave from the first day of illness or injury up to a maximum of 52 weeks in a 104 week 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 16 weeks of paid maternity leave, beginning eight weeks before the due date and continuing for eight 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 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 limit 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.
In June 2013, the law was amended to allow parents returning from parental leave to ask their employer to accommodate changes in their work schedule for up to a year from the date on which they returned to work. The employer is required to consider the request taking into consideration its own needs as well as the needs of the employee, and if it rejects the request, is required to provide reasons for the rejection. An employee is entitled to take parental leave if:
- The employee’s household includes at least one child under the age of 5 for whom the employee is paid a family allowance;
- The employee was lawfully employed in Luxembourg for at least 12 continuous months with the employer when the child was born and has completed any probationary period;
- The employee regularly works at least half a normal workweek; and
- The employee made contributions to social security for at least 12 months immediately prior to taking parental leave. A parent who wishes to take parental leave after the expiration of maternity leave must notify the employer in writing two months before maternity leave begins. A parent who wishes to take parental leave at another time must notify the employer in writing at least six months before parental leave begins. When parental leave begins, the employer stops paying the employee’s salary and benefits, and the employee instead receives a fixed monthly sum from the National Family Benefits Fund. During a period of parental leave, seniority continues to accrue, but the employee does not accrue annual leave. When the period of parental leave ends, the employer must allow the employee to return to the prior job or to another job with equal or greater pay for which the employee is qualified.
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: July 23rd, 2019