Applying for leave for personal reasons (special leave)

This page was last modified on 15-01-2018

Salaried workers (or apprentices), who are forced to be absent from work for certain personal reasons that are provided for by law, are entitled to special leave with full pay. The duration of this special leave depends on the nature of the stated reason (birth, marriage, death, etc.).

This leave may not be counted against the worker's paid annual leave.

Who is concerned

Any person bound by an employment contract is entitled to special leave for personal reasons.

Salaried workers are entitled to this leave as soon as they start working for a company: they do not need to comply with the 3-month waiting period which is foreseen for ordinary annual leave.

However, this type of leave is to be taken at the time the event takes place and cannot be postponed.

How to proceed

Types of special leave

Types of leave for personal reasons (special leave)


Civil servantPrivate sector worker


6 days 3 days

Declaration of partnership (*)

6 days 1 day

Death of a spouse or partner

3 days 3 days

Death of first degree relative (either of the salaried worker or civil servant, or of their spouse/partner): father, mother, son, daughter

3 days 3 days

Death of a minor child

5 days

Marriage of a child

2 days 1 day

Moving house

2 days 2 days

Adoption of a child under 16 years old (unless the worker receives settling-in leave in case of adoption)

2 days 10 days

Birth of a legitimate or recognised natural child (for the father – regardless of the number of children)

4 days 10 days

Enlisting for military service

1 day

Death of a second degree relative (either of the salaried worker / civil servant or of their spouse/partner): grandparents, grandchildren, brother, sister

1 day

3 days

1 day


Civil servants are subject to the following restrictions:

  • in the event of a marriage or a declaration of partnership, the leave for personal reasons will only be granted twice throughout the civil servant's entire career, whatever the event;
  • the same restriction applies for special leave in case of the marriage or the declaration of partnership of the applicant's child.

In order to be granted special leave for a partnership under foreign law, salaried workers and cross-border workers in particular have to register their partnership concluded in their country of residence in the Luxembourg civil register.

Three days of leave will be granted to civil servants who shared their place of residence with their deceased brother/sister.

Requesting leave for personal reasons

Salaried workers must expressly request the leave from their employer, who cannot refuse leave for personal reasons.

Leave for personal reasons may only be taken at the time of the event giving rise to the leave except in the case of the birth of a child or the adoption of a child of less than 16 years of age. This special leave may not be taken at a later date or give rise to financial compensation if it was not taken within the time limit.

However, special leave is deferred to the first working day following the event when it falls on:

  • a Sunday
  • a public holiday;
  • a non-business day;
  • compensatory day of rest.

If the event takes place during the worker's ordinary annual leave, the annual leave is interrupted during the period of special leave. However, special leave cannot be carried over to ordinary annual leave.

It is possible to apply for this type of leave more than once a year if personal reasons justify this.

In the event of a move, the 2 days of special leave are granted only once over a 3-year period with the same employer unless the worker has to move for professional reasons.

Leave for personal reasons is not due if the event giving rise to the leave falls on a day where the worker is on sick leave.

Leave in the event of the birth of a child or the arrival of an adopted child of less than 16 years of age.

The leave for personal reasons can be split up into shorter periods but must be taken within 2 months following the event.

In principle, the leave is taken according to the worker's wishes unless the business's operational needs does not allow for this.

In the absence of an agreement between the salaried worker and the employer, the leave must be taken all at once and immediately after the event.

Salaried workers must notify their employer in writing 2 months prior to their first day of special leave and indicate the estimated dates during which they intend to take the leave. The notification can be submitted in any format that enables the worker to prove, if needed, that the 2-month notice period was respected.

The notification must be submitted together with:

  • a copy of the medical certificate attesting the presumed date of birth, or
  • where applicable, a supporting document stating the estimated date of arrival of a child of less than 16 years of age with a view to his/her adoption.

Failure to comply with this deadline may result in the reduction of the leave to 2 days on decision by the employer.

In the event of multiple births, the father is only entitled to one paternity leave as the event giving rise to the leave is the birth.

In the event of illness of the worker during one or more days of the planned paternity leave, these days of paternity leave during which the worker was ill are lost and may not be carried over.

If the planned period of paternity leave has to be moved, in particular in the event of a premature birth and if the premature birth falls within a planned period of ordinary annual leave, the period of annual leave is interrupted for the duration of the paternity leave.

Part-time salaried workers, either on the basis of their employment contract, or on the basis of a part-time parental leave, are also entitled to 10 days of paternity leave.

Permission to leave work to vote

Workers may obtain permission from their employers to exercise their civic rights and duties, such as voting in municipal, legislative, and European Union elections.