Legal duration and organisation of working time in Luxembourg
In Luxembourg, the normal working hours for employees are 8 hours per day and 40 hours per week.
The employer may determine a reference period during which this working time is applied more flexibly. To do so, the employer must establish :
- or a work organisation plan (POT)
- or a sliding timetable.
However, the maximum working time may not exceed 10 hours per day or 48 hours per week.
The employer is also obliged to guarantee its employees daily and weekly rest periods. These periods shall, as a minimum, be of an uninterrupted duration of 11 hours in each period of 24 hours or 44 consecutive hours in each period of 7 days.
Working time in fixed working hours shall be notified in the employment contract or in the company’s internal regulations. Any excess of these daily or weekly hours will be considered as overtime.
Work on flexible working hours is managed by the parties within the legal limits and according to service requirements.
What is a work organization plan?
A company may, if it wishes, draw up a “work organisation plan”, better known by its abbreviation “POT”. This POT aims to determine the working hours of employees – of the whole company or only of parts of it – according to the foreseeable activity of the company. The POT covers a reference period.
It may be set up for a reference period ranging from 1 to 4 months maximum. Overruns must be compensated by overtime or time off.
Night and Sunday work
The hours worked between 10 pm and 6 am are considered as night work. In the hotel and restaurant sector, night work starts at 11 pm and ends at 6 am.
The maximum permitted night work is 8 hours per 24-hour period in a week for night workers. The increase in night hours is regulated by collective agreements.
It should be noted that night work is neither prohibited nor subject to authorization.
Working on Sundays is normally prohibited in Luxembourg with some exceptions. In this case, Sunday work shall be subject to monetary compensation or compensatory rest.
Any hour worked in excess of normal working hours – i.e. 8 hours daily or 40 hours weekly – shall be considered as overtime.
In the case of overtime work, however, the maximum working time must be limited to 10 hours per day or 48 hours per week.
In some sectors or professions and at certain times of the year, the maximum working time may be extended to 12 hours per day, provided that the weekly working time does not exceed 40 hours.
Similarly, these 48-hour weekly limitations do not apply to work performed in order to deal with an accident or in the event of an emergency.
In order to be able to benefit from an extension of normal working hours, the employer must notify any overtime work to the Labour and Mines Inspectorate (ITM). He must also send a record of hours worked to the organization at the end of each authorized period.
The overtime worked can either be recovered by the employee or compensated. Please note that the remuneration for overtime worked in this way is tax-exempt and partially exempt from social security contributions.
Overtime work shall entitle the employee either to compensatory time off or to pay increases.
In both cases, the surcharge is 40%. Paid overtime is tax-exempt and partially exempt from social security contributions.
NB: This overtime compensation plan does not apply to employees who are senior executives.
If the employer is faced with an exceptional situation, it may require its employees to work overtime. However, overtime is limited to two hours of overtime per day, i.e. 10 hours in total.
However, not all employees are affected. The law protects in particular adolescent employees, pregnant and nursing employees or apprentices. Part-time employees, temporary employees and senior managers may also not be forced to work overtime.
Rest periods: legal provisions
Beyond 6 hours of work per day, all employees are entitled to one or more rest periods, in accordance with Article L.211-16 of the French Labour Code.
Breaks can be paid or unpaid. Only one rest period per day may be unpaid. This unpaid interruption is often reserved for lunch. It is, moreover, most of the time fixed in the individual employment contract or specified by the applicable collective labour agreement.
However, the duration of breaks is not prescribed by law. Only the unpaid break is limited. This may not exceed three hours, in accordance with the provisions of Article L. 212-7 of the Luxembourg Labour Code. This period may be increased to four hours, by a Grand-Ducal regulation, and if the work regime requires it.
Coffee and cigarette breaks
Coffee and cigarette breaks are left to the boss’s convenience. While they are generally tolerated, it is recommended not to abuse them.
This time is usually paid. Some companies, however, require their employees to take a cigarette break.
A young mother can ask for breaks to breastfeed her child. The employer must then grant him or her breastfeeding time during the working day. These breaks are counted as working time and are entitled to the normal wage.
Specifically, it consists of two periods of 45 minutes each. The first must be taken at the beginning of the working day, the second at the end of his normal daily working hours.
These two breaks may be converted into a single breastfeeding period of at least 90 minutes if the working day is interrupted only by a one-hour break or if it is impossible for the mother to breastfeed her child in the vicinity of the workplace.
Duration of statutory leave
The legal duration of annual leave is set at 25 working days per year.
Additional days off
A collective agreement or an individual agreement between the employer and the employee may provide for additional days off for the employee.
Extraordinary leave is granted in specific cases, such as in the event of relocation, birth or death of a relative.
|Type of extraordinary leave||Duration|
|Paternity leave at birth or in the case of adoption of a child under 16 years of age||10 days|
|Postnatal maternity leave||12 weeks|
|Family-related leave (sick child, except critical illness)|| |
12 days for a child between 0 and 4 years old;
18 days for a child between 4 and 13 years old;
5 days for a child between 13 and 18 years old
|Marriage of the employee||3 days|
|Partnership statement||1 day|
|Marriage of a child||1 day|
(every 3 years)
|Death of a minor child||5 days|
|Death of partner, spouse, first-degree relative or partner or spouse||3 days|
|Enlisting for military service||1 day|
Pregnant women or women who have just given birth benefit from several advantages within their company.
Thus, during pregnancy and after childbirth, a woman has :
- protection against dismissal from the beginning of the pregnancy;
- protection against the risks of night work;
- special protection when she is in a position of specific risk ;
- a work waiver to attend prenatal exams;
- working time arrangements if she is breastfeeding.
Since 1 January 2018, paternity leave has been extended from two to ten days. For example, fathers of a newborn child can now benefit from ten days of leave. These additional eight days are publicly funded. Employers will therefore be reimbursed upon request.
However, the application must be submitted to the employer at least two months before the presumed date of birth. Once granted, these ten days may be taken by the father in a flexible manner, provided that they are taken within a maximum of two months after the birth of the child.
This law is also applicable to fathers who have just adopted a child.
Fixing of holidays
If the employee requests it, the annual leave must be fixed at least 1 month in advance.
The employee may, in principle, determine his or her days off at his or her convenience.
However, the employer may object to this for the purposes of the service or in the event, for example, of justified wishes on the part of other employees.
On the other hand, the employer may not impose individual leave dates without the employee’s agreement, nor may he or she be required to take unpaid leave.
Repeated and unjustified refusal by the employer to grant leave is a fault and may thus justify the resignation with immediate effect of the employee.
A company may decide to close for vacation.
In the event of closure for annual leave, the period of collective leave must be fixed in advance, in agreement with the staff delegation or, failing that, with the employees concerned.
The employer must inform its employees of the period of group leave withheld no later than the first quarter of the year.
There are three generally binding collective labour agreements that impose a collective summer and/or winter holiday on companies. These are companies in the building and civil engineering sector, as well as certain professions such as ceiling and plasterers, heating and sanitary installations.
The employer must in principle grant the leave and the employee must take it entirely during the current year.
However, annual leave may be deferred until 31 December under certain conditions.
If the employee falls ill during his leave, he must notify his employer and give him a medical certificate within three working days if the employee is in Luxembourg or as soon as possible if he is abroad.
The days covered by the medical certificate are then no longer considered as days of annual leave. However, if the employee is no longer unable to work, he or she must return to work on the date originally agreed with the employer. The employee and the employer must then agree, by mutual agreement, on the employee’s new leave period.
Consultation with a doctor during working hours
The law does not grant special hours or days off to consult a doctor during working hours, except in favour of a pregnant woman who is granted an exemption from work to attend the prenatal examinations required by law.
The employee may, however, request permission from his employer to visit his doctor during working hours. The employer is, however, under no obligation to give permission.
However, some collective agreements may provide for special leave for medical examinations.
Termination of an employment relationship during the leave period
During the leave period, the employee is not protected against dismissal.
If the employment relationship is terminated before the employee has been able to take all of his or her leave, the employer must pay the employee the corresponding holiday pay.
If an employee who has been dismissed with notice or resigns is still entitled to leave, the employer cannot force him to take it during the notice period. Similarly, the employer is not obliged to grant him or her leave during the notice period
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