Luxembourg: New leave for employees and new measures to ensure better work-life balance introduced

In brief

On 17 August 2023, the law transposing the EU Directive 2019/1158 of 20 June 2019 on work-life balance for parents and carers ("Law 1") was published in the Luxembourg official gazette.

On 18 August 2023, the law amending the legal provisions on paternity and adoption leave ("Law 2" and, together with Law 1, "Laws") was published in the Luxembourg official gazette.

Law 1 introduces in the Luxembourg Labor Code a day off that can be requested in the event of force majeure and a carer's leave of five days. The law entered into force on 21 August 2023.

Law 2 introduces a leave in the event of the birth of a child for the equivalent second parent of a same-sex couple and for the self-employed. The law entered into force on 22 August 2023.

The purpose of this alert is to outline the key features of these Laws.

For further information on what these developments might mean for you or your organization, please get in touch with your usual Baker McKenzie contact.


Key takeaways

New extraordinary leaves for employees 

Law 1 introduces two new types of extraordinary leaves for employees:

  • One day over a 12-month employment period for reasons of "force majeure" related to urgent family reasons in the case of illness or an accident involving a family member

  • Five days over a 12-month employment period to provide personal care or assistance to a family member or another person living in the same household as the employee

The employee who benefits from either of these leaves is obliged to notify, personally or through an intermediary, orally or in writing, the employer or a representative of the latter no later than the same day of the absence.

On the third day of absence at the latest, the employee is obliged to provide the employer with a medical certificate attesting that the conditions for personal care or family assistance leave are met, and a document proving the family link between the employee and the person in need or the concordance of their respective places of residence.

The state reimburses the employer for salary costs resulting from these leaves at the rate of 50% of the total cost.

Flexible working arrangements

Law 1 further foresees that every parent of a child under 9 years old and every caregiver has the right to a meeting with the employer to request flexible working arrangements provided that the employee has had at least six months of continuous service with the same employer.

'Flexible working arrangements' means the possibility for the employee to adjust their working arrangements, including through the use of remote working, flexible working hours or reduction of working time for a determined period that cannot exceed one year.

The employer examines the request for flexible working arrangements and responds to it within one month, taking into account their own needs and those of the employee.

If the employer refuses to grant or decides to postpone the request, they must send the reasons for the refusal or the postponement of the request to the requesting employee by registered letter with acknowledgment of receipt.

The employee may not be subject to reprisals or less favorable treatment on the grounds of having made such a request or of having benefited from the flexible working arrangements granted to them.

An employer who does not comply with these provisions may face penalties ranging from EUR 251 to EUR 2,500 (which may be doubled for a repeated offense within two years).

Extension of childbirth leave

Law 2 extends the right to extraordinary leave in the birth of a child in the following cases:

  • To any parent recognized as a second parent

  • To self-employed persons

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