Leave for family reasons in the event of a child's illness

Last update

Leave for family reasons in the event of a child's illness may be taken by a parent if there are no other childcare options available.

The amount of leave for family reasons depends on the child's age.

The leave can be extended if the child:

  • has a progressive form of cancer; or
  • needs to be hospitalised for more than 2 weeks; or
  • is placed in quarantine in the broadest sense of the term.

In such circumstances, the leave may be extended by up to 52 weeks. This duration is calculated over a reference period of 104 weeks.

The duration of the leave extension in the event of the closure of schools, crèches and maisons-relais – to limit the spread of an epidemic – will be decided by the Luxembourg government.

The employee must submit a medical certificate to their employer as soon as possible after taking their leave, and within 3 days to the relevant health-insurance fund.

Who is concerned?

To qualify for leave for family reasons, the parent must have a child requiring care, and the child must be under the age of 18 and require the presence of a parent. Parents may be:

  • employees (on a fixed-term contract, permanent contract or probationary period);
  • apprentices;
  • self-employed.

If only one parent works and the other stays at home, only the working parent is entitled to leave for family reasons.

If both parents work, both are entitled to leave for family reasons, but cannot take it at the same time.

A child requiring care is defined as one who is ill and requires one of their parents to be physically present to look after them.

The child may be:

  • born in wedlock;
  • born out of wedlock;
  • an adopted child.


Leave for family reasons is granted on presentation of a medical certificate. The person wishing to take leave for family reasons must go to their doctor to obtain the relevant certificate.

How to proceed

Duration of and conditions for granting leave

The amount of leave for family reasons depends on the child's age:

first age bracket Children under the age of 4 12 days of leave per child

second age bracket Children between the age of 4 until the day preceding their 13th birthday 18 days of leave per child

third age bracket Hospitalised children between 13 and 18 years of age 5 days of leave per hospitalised child

In the case of children receiving the special supplementary allowance:

  • the duration of leave is doubled;
  • the requirement for hospitalisation does not apply; and
  • the age limit of 18 does not apply.

The period of leave for family reasons may be extended if the child has an exceptionally serious illness or disability, such as:

  • a progressive form of cancer; or
  • a pathology (illness) requiring hospitalisation for more than 2 consecutive weeks.

The age limit of 18 does not apply to children with a fairly serious disability (different to an exceptionally serious illness or deficiency).

The length of the extension is:

  • determined on a case-by-case basis;
  • limited to a total of 52 weeks over a reference period of 104 weeks.

Leave for family reasons may be split into 2 or more distinct periods – i.e., it does not necessarily have to be taken all at once. Periods of 4 hours or fewer are treated as half-days.

Informing the employer

Employees must, on the day of their absence, irrespective of the length of their child's illness, inform their employer, or their employer's representative, either in person or by proxy. This information can be transmitted verbally or in writing.

They must submit a medical certificate, regardless of the length of their child's illness – even if the child is ill for only one day:

  • to their employer as soon as possible (ideally, the day after notifying their employer);
  • to the National Health Fund (Caisse nationale de santé - CNS) or the competent health-insurance fund, no later than the 3rd day of their absence.

This medical certificate must mention the national identification numbers (matricule – 13-digit social security number) of both the child and the parent and specify:

  • the illness, accident or other pressing health issue affecting the child; and
  • the requirement for the parent to be physically present with the ill child; and
  • the duration of their presence with the ill child.

Leave for family reasons during a trial period

If the onset of the child's illness occurs during the parent's trial period at work, then the trial period must be extended by a length of time equal to the duration of leave taken. Nevertheless, the extension of the trial period may not exceed 1 month.

Protection against dismissal and expiry of the employment contract

The period of leave for family reasons is treated as a period of sick leave on account of illness or an accident. While the employee is on leave, their employer may not dismiss them with notice, or summon them to a pre-dismissal interview.

If the employer decides to dismiss the employee in contravention of this requirement, the employee may demand that they be reinstated or file an appeal for damages and interest for unfair dismissal.

This protection from dismissal applies only during the period of absence covered by the medical certificate.

Protection from dismissal does not apply if:

  • the employee failed to inform their employer on the first day of their absence;
  • the medical certificate was not presented to the employer;
  • the medical certificate was submitted after the employee had received the dismissal letter or the letter summoning them to a pre-dismissal interview;
  • the employee is guilty of serious misconduct.

This protection from dismissal does not negate the termination of a fixed-term employment contract on its planned end date.

Apprentices who are bound to a training provider by an apprenticeship contract enjoy the same protection as do employees on permanent or fixed-term contracts.
In the event of a prolonged period of absence, the apprenticeship contract is suspended for as long as the apprentice is absent, and extended for the same duration.

Any dispute arising between an employer and an employee in connection with an employment or apprenticeship contract while on leave for family reasons is within the jurisdiction of the labour tribunal.

Allowance for leave for family reasons

During the period of leave for family reasons, the employee is entitled to continue receiving their pay.

The Employers’ Mutual Insurance Scheme (Mutualité des employeurs - MDE) will reimburse the employer/self-employed worker for the full amount of the wage costs they incur (gross pay + employers' social-security contributions) during the worker's leave.

The reimbursement will only be made if the leave for family reasons was declared by the worker to the competent health fund using a medical certificate, and by the employer to the Joint Social Security Centre (CCSS).

If the insured person is no longer entitled to continue being paid by their employer (>77 sick days over a period of 18 months), the allowance will be paid directly by the National Health Fund (CNS).

Self-employed workers insured with the Employers' Mutual Insurance Scheme should also declare their leave for family reasons to the competent health fund, and send them the medical certificate, in order to receive the allowance from the Employers' Mutual Insurance Scheme.

The sickness benefit is:

  • calculated based on the gross salary that the employee would have earned had they remained at work;
  • capped at 5 times the social minimum wage. For apprentices, the calculation is based on the apprenticeship allowance.

Online services and forms

Who to contact

National Health Fund (CNS)

2 of 8 bodies shown

National Health Fund (CNS)

2 of 8 bodies shown

Joint Social Security Centre

Employers' Mutual Insurance Scheme

Joint Social Security Centre

Employers' Mutual Insurance Scheme

Related procedures and links



Further information

Legal references


Your opinion matters to us

Tell us what you think of this page. You can leave us your feedback on how to improve this page. You will not receive a reply to your feedback. Please use the contact form for any specific questions you might have.

Fields marked with an asterisk (*) are mandatory.

Did you find what you were looking for?*
How would you rate this page?*
Very poor
Very good

Leave a comment to help us improve this page. Do not provide any personal information such as your email address, name, telephone number, etc.


Please rate this page

Your opinion has been submitted successfully!

Thank you for your contribution. If you need help or have any questions, please use the contact form.

Would you like to help us make digital public services more user-friendly by submitting your suggestions for improvement?

Then visit Zesumme Vereinfachen, the online participation platform dedicated to administrative simplification in Luxembourg.

Let's simplify things together

An error occurred

Oops, an error has been detected during your form processing.