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Leave for family reasons in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic covering the period from 25 May to 15 July 2020

In the context of the measures adopted by the Government to contain the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus, a specific procedure has been set up to allow parents to take leave for family reasons if they have to look after their child(ren) under 4 years old, or aged from 4 up to 13 if it has not been possible to find them a place in a childcare structure.

A new application for leave for family reasons has to be submitted even if you already submitted an application using the form that was made available online on 30 March 2020.

Leave for family reasons may be taken in the context of the COVID-19 health crisis by a parent of a child:

  • who was born on or after 1 September 2015 and is dependent on the applicant;
  • under the age of 13 who normally attends school, whose school is closed or whose classes remain suspended for reasons directly related to the health crisis, or who cannot be cared for by any school or childcare facility due to the implementation of a plan for alternating the care of pupils or the application of imposed barrier measures;
  • deemed vulnerable according to the CSMI recommendations, i. e. a child that is suffering from a respiratory or cardiac pathology or is immuno-depressed.

If necessary, parents may alternate taking leave for family reasons. In this case, each parent must send in a separate form.

Parents of children with a disability who are between 13 and 18 years old (or up to the age of 25) may benefit from the leave for family reasons provided they receive the special supplementary allowance for disabled children from the CAE.

This extraordinary leave for family reasons in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic is limited in time and will not affect the balance of ordinary leave for family reasons. It is treated separately from ordinary leave for family reasons.

1. Conditions for granting leave for family reasons in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic

Children

One parent who is affiliated to the Luxembourg social security scheme (including non-residents) may apply to take leave for family reasons in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic if they have one or more children in one of these categories:

  • a child who was born on or after 1 September 2015 and is dependent on the applicant;
  • a child under the age of 13 who normally attends school, whose school is closed or whose classes remain suspended for reasons directly related to the health crisis, or who cannot be cared for by any school or childcare facility due to the implementation of a plan for alternating the care of pupils or the application of imposed barrier measures, assuming that a certificate attesting to such a situation can be provided:
    • a certificate attesting to the closure of the school:
      • if the school is located in Luxembourg, an attestation should be requested from the following address: attestationcrf@men.lu. Please indicate in the e-mail the child's national identification number (matricule), the child's last name, first name, the name of the school attended and the requesting parent's national identification number (matricule), last name and first name;
      • if the school is located abroad, an official document issued by the national authority competent for that institution must be attached to the application and sent directly to the CNS;
    • for day-care facilities located in Luxembourg, the certificate (Certification Impossibilité de prise en charge) should be downloaded and sent to the person responsible for the structure that was unable to take the child. This person will attest that the child has not been accepted by a childcare service in the context of the alternating resumption of primary education. Once the certificate has been obtained, it should be sent to the Ministry of Education, Children and Youth at attestationcrf@men.lu;
    • For pupils attending a Special Education Centre, the certificate that the child cannot be cared for by a childcare service is to be requested from the Special Education Centre concerned and sent to the Ministry of Education, Children and Youth at the following address: attestationcrf@men.lu, with a view to drawing up the certificate to be attached to the application for leave for family reasons relating to the Covid-19 pandemic which is to be sent to the CNS;
  • a child deemed vulnerable according to the CSMI recommendations, i. e. a child that is suffering from a respiratory or cardiac pathology or is immuno-depressed.

Parents

Leave for family reasons related to the COVID-19 pandemic is for parents who:

  • are employed; or
  • are in a non-salaried activity; or
  • are self-employed

and are parents of a child as described above.

If anyone else is able to look after the child, whether a relative or another member of the household, for example because they have the benefit of short-time work during the period for which leave for family reasons is being requested, the parent cannot benefit from leave for family reasons. These other persons may be:

  • the other parent;
  • the parent's spouse;
  • another member of the household concerned.

Moreover, both parents (or spouse) cannot take leave for family reasons at the same time.

These limitations do not apply in the case of telework that remains work performed from home and during which the parent cannot provide care for the child.

2. What to do to be able to take leave for family reasons

A parent who needs to take leave for family reasons must inform his/her employer as quickly as possible, either verbally or in writing, and indicate the start and end date of said leave.

The parent must then fill in the appropriate form, sign it, and send it to both the National Health Fund (Caisse nationale de santé - CNS) and his/her employer, together with the required certificate corresponding to the parent's situation.

The employer then transmits to the social security bodies a statement of the actual number of days of leave for family reasons taken, following the ordinary procedure.

There are 4 situations entitling a person to take leave for family reasons in the context of limiting the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus. The 4 situations are set out below, together with the supporting documents that must be sent in with the application:

1. Child born on or after 1 September 2015

Application form

2. Schooled children under 13 years of age whose school is closed

Application form

A certificate attesting to the closure of the school:

  • if the school is located in Luxembourg, an attestation should be requested from the following address: attestationcrf@men.lu. Please indicate in the e-mail the child's national identification number (matricule), the child's last name, first name, the name of the school attended and the requesting parent's national identification number (matricule), last name and first name;
  • if the school is located abroad, an official document issued by the national authority competent for that institution must be attached to the application and sent directly to the CNS.

3. Child under the age of 13 who normally attends school for whom it has not been possible to obtain a place in a childcare structure

Application form

For pupils attending a Special Education Centre, the certificate that the child cannot be cared for by a childcare service is to be requested from the Special Education Centre concerned and sent to the Ministry of Education, Children and Youth at the following address: attestationcrf@men.lu, with a view to drawing up the certificate to be attached to the application for leave for family reasons relating to the Covid-19 pandemic which is to be sent to the CNS.

For day-care facilities located in Luxembourg: The certificate (Certification Impossibilité de prise en charge) should be downloaded and sent to the person responsible for the structure that was unable to take the child. This person will attest that the child has not been accepted by a childcare service in the context of the alternating resumption of primary education. Once the certificate has been obtained, it should be sent to the Ministry of Education, Children and Youth at attestationcrf@men.lu. The Ministry of Education, Children and Youth will send the parents, either by email or by post, an attestation to attach to the application to take leave for family reasons in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic to be sent to the CNS.

4. Vulnerable child with regard to COVID-19

Application form

The medical certificate attesting the child's vulnerability with regard to COVID-19.

According to the CSMI recommendations, a child is deemed vulnerable if it is suffering from a respiratory or cardiac pathology or is immuno-depressed.

Practical information inherent in the application form requesting leave for family reasons in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic

The exact dates on which the leave only need to be communicated to the employer.

A new form put online on 20 May 2020 is available. It should be completed and sent, with supporting documents, to both the employer and the CNS, even if a previous form has already been sent.

2. Sending an application to take leave for family reasons to the CNS

The application can be sent either electronically or by post.

Electronic submission

There are 2 ways of sending the form for applying to take leave for family reasons and the required supporting documents to the CNS electronically, depending on the circumstances:

  • you can print out the form for applying to take leave for family reasons, sign it by hand, scan or take a photo of the form and the appropriate certificate depending on the circumstances, and send them by email to cns-crf@secu.lu, or;
  • save the form for applying to take leave for family reasons on your computer, complete it electronically using Adobe Acrobat Reader, sign it electronically with a LuxTrust smartcard, and send it by email, together with a scan of the certificate.

The subject line of the mail must contain your 13-digit national identification number.

Submission by post

Please note that if you have sent all the documents electronically you do not need to send them by post as well.

The application form to take leave for family reasons and the appropriate certificate may be sent by post. You should print out the form, sign it by hand, and send it to the following address, together with the required certificate:

CNS
Indemnités pécuniaires
L-2980 Luxembourg

The form and the required certificate must be sent by normal post (not by registered mail).

4. Procedure for the self-employed and non-salaried workers

The self-employed can benefit from leave for family reasons in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The procedure consists of filling in the form and returning it at the end of the period, together with the required certificate, to the CNS:

  • by email to cns-crf-nonsalaries@secu.lu, including the 13-digit national identification number in the subject line; or
  • by ordinary post (not recommended) to Service Indemnités pécuniaires, L-2980 Luxembourg  

The days that have been taken must be clearly identified.

Frequently asked questions about leave for family reasons

 

Who is it for?

A parent, affiliated to Luxembourg's social security scheme (regardless of place of residence), of one or more children who meet the following conditions:

  • the child is vulnerable;
  • the child was born on or after 1 September 2015;
  • the child is at least 4 years old but under 13 and is concerned by the temporary closures  of teaching structures in primary and secondary education, vocational  training, childcare (crèches, daycare centres (maisons relais)...) etc.

Parents of children with a disability who are between 13 and 18 years old (or up to the age of 25) may benefit from the leave for family reasons provided they receive the special supplementary allowance for disabled children from the CAE.

My child is 13 years old. Can I take leave for family reasons?

The statutory age limit for the child is the day before its 13th birthday. Parents of children who are 13 or older cannot take leave for family reasons under the present arrangements. Only the parents of children in hospital who are 13 or older are entitled to take leave for family reasons, and the number of days is limited to 5 (Art. 234-52 of the Labour Code).

Parents of children with a disability aged 13 and 18 years old (or up to the age of 25) may benefit from the leave for family reasons provided they receive the special supplementary allowance for disabled children from the CAE.

 

My child is disabled and is over 12 years old. Can I take leave for family reasons?

Parents of children with a disability who are between 13 and 18 years old (or up to the age of 25) may benefit from the leave for family reasons provided they receive the special supplementary allowance for disabled children from the CAE.

My child is 13 years old and I can't take leave for family reasons. What can I do?

Parents can also ask a neighbour or relative to look after their children. Nevertheless, a vulnerable person or a member of a group at risk should not be involved in childcare.

Can I look after a child of whom I am not a parent but who is in the care of the household in wich I live?

Yes, leave for family reasons can be taken by any member of a "patchwork" family who is not the child's biological parent.

The form does not indicate a starting or ending date. What do you have to do?

The form only serves to attest to the parent's employer and to the CNS that the parent is taking leave for family reasons. There is no need to indicate on the form a date for starting or ending the leave.

The parent must contact his/her employer to inform it that he/she is taking leave for family reasons. The parent must also inform his/her employer of the days (or half-days) he/she will be taking as leave for family reasons.

Thereafter, it is the employer that informs the social security institutions of the specific days.

I have filled in the form. Do I have to go to see a doctor to get a certificate?

No.

The duly completed form has the same value as a medical certificate within the meaning of Articles L.234-53 and L.234-54 of the Labour Code as far as the employer and the CNS are concerned.

Can both parents take leave for family reasons at the same time?

No, only one parent can take this special leave at any one time. But they can take leave alternately (one parent at a time).

I have taken leave for family reasons. Can I stop the leave and work for a few days, then go back on leave?

Yes.

A parent can interrupt and divide the leave as necessary. But the employer must be informed of any change as quickly as possible.

It is only necessary to complete and send one form, with supporting documents, per parent at the start of the leave.

Leave for family reasons can be taken per hour (and not only during half or full days).

That means a parent can work 5 hours and take 3 hours of leave for family reasons (equivalent to a full working day)..

This will give more flexibility to the person concerned, and to a certain extent, limit the use of leave for family reasons to the periods of time where it is actually needed.

I would like to alternate the leave with my husband/wife - is that possible?

Yes.

Both parents can alternate leave according to their needs, on condition that both parents are affiliated to the Luxembourg social security scheme.

Each parent must fill in a separate form and attach supporting documents.

Example 1:
  • Parent 1 - Mondays and Tuesdays
  • Parent 2 - Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays

Example 2:

  • Parent 1 - mornings
  • Parent 2 - afternoons
Can I take leave on an hourly basis?

Yes.

Leave for family reasons can be taken per hour, and not only during half or full days.

That means a parent can work 5 hours and take 3 hours of leave for family reasons (equivalent to a full working day).

I'm on maternity (or parental) leave. Can my husband/wife take leave for family reasons?

Theoretically, if one parent is on maternity or parental leave, the other parent ought to continue working.

I'm self-employed. Can I take leave for family reasons?

Yes, as a self-employed worker, you are entitled to leave for family reasons.

You have to complete the form and send it to the CNS by email to cns-crf-nonsalaries@secu.lu or by post (standard mail) to "Service Indemnités pécuniaires" L-2980 Luxembourg at the end of the period of leave and clearly indicate the days of leave taken.

I work in Luxembourg, but my child attends an educational structure elsewhere. Can I take leave for family reasons?

Yes.

If the parent is affiliated in Luxembourg and the child attends school elsewhere, the parent may request leave for family reasons if the public authorities decide to close the teaching structures.

The procedure is the same as for a parent resident in the Grand Duchy: the employer must be informed (specifying the days concerned) and the duly completed form and the certificate issued by the Ministry of Education, Childhood and Youth sent to both the CNS and the employer.

Can an employer refuse leave for family reasons?

No.

If the parent has followed the statutory procedure (i.e. informing his/her employer and submitting the duly completed form), the employer cannot refuse the leave for family reasons. The request has the same value as a medical certificate within the meaning of the Labour Code (Articles L.234-53 and L.234-54) as far as the employer and the CNS are concerned.

However, short-time working takes precedence over leave for family reasons. Since the salaried worker who is affected by short-time working is in principle released from work, he or she is available to care for a dependent child without having to resort to leave for family reasons.

For this reason it goes without saying that the salaried worker on short-time work is not entitled to leave for family reasons. The same applies to a salaried worker whose partner or spouse is on short-time work and therefore available to look after the common child or a child belonging to the same household.

I'm an employer. What should I do?

The procedure is the same as for any request for leave for family reasons. The employee must inform his/her employer, and then send in the form, duly completed.

The request has the same value as a medical certificate within the meaning of the Labour Code (Articles L.234-53 and L.234-54) as far as the employer and the CNS are concerned.

Thereafter, the list of days actually taken as leave for family reasons must be passed on, following the usual procedure.

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