The aim of development cooperation leave is to enable representatives of accredited non-governmental organisations (NGOs) to participate in programmes and projects that benefit people in developing countries, in Luxembourg or abroad.
The duration of the development cooperation leave must not exceed 6 days per year per beneficiary. That leave may be split up if required.
Who is concerned
Experts and representatives of NGOs (excluding the employees of such organisations) carrying on separate professional activity, on a salaried or self-employed basis, in Luxembourg who meet certain specific conditions:
- are at least 18 years old;
- are citizens of a member state of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD);
- are called upon to provide services to the people of a developing country as part of a development project or programme;
- collaborate in the implementation of a program or project for development for people in developing countries whose completion depends on an accredited NGO;
- have the training, skills and preparation necessary for the accomplishment of their task.
Persons working as volunteers for an accredited NGO and simultaneously carrying on another professional activity (employed or self-employed) may also benefit from development cooperation leave.
PrerequisitesThe employee must be able to prove at least one year in service with the same employer to be granted development cooperation leave.
How to proceed
Submitting the application
Applicants for this type of leave must complete the form for development cooperation leave, specifying the following:
- surname and first name;
- date of birth;
- professional qualifications;
- dates and duration of the leave requested;
- details of the programme, project, meeting or exchange in question;
- amount of fees and other remunerations provided;
- name of the competent accredited NGO.
The employee must hand in the application to their employer, who will:
- issue their advisory opinion: favourable or unfavourable (for example, if the employee's absence impacts the company's operations or the distribution of the annual leave of the company's general staff;
- sign the form;
- return the form to the employee.
Finally, the applicant must submit the duly completed and signed application to the competent NGO, which will forward it to the Development Cooperation Directorate (Direction de la coopération au développement) of the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs (Ministère des affaires étrangères et européennes - MAE), at least 2 months before the start of the leave.
Based on an inter-ministerial committee decision, the minister will accept or reject the leave and, if applicable, set its duration and the amount of financial compensation.
The applicant will be informed of the decision within 1 month of their application.
If the response is positive, their employer will be informed a minimum of 15 days before the start of the leave.
Characteristics of development cooperation leave
The granting of development cooperation leave to experts and representatives of NGOs is subject to the following conditions:
- development cooperation leave cannot be subtracted from ordinary annual leave;
- development cooperation leave cannot be attached to a period of annual paid leave or sick leave, if the duration of the continuous absence exceeds the total number of days of annual leave, unless agreed upon by the employer;
- The leave requested may be refused if the employee's absence could have a major negative impact on the proper functioning of the company or on the planning of annual leave for other staff members.
Missions related to development cooperation leave
The following missions, for example, may be taken into consideration in the granting of leave:
- travel or trips to identify, formulate, carry out, oversee, monitor and assess cooperation programmes or projects that benefit people of developing countries;
- administrative and financial management of an NGO cooperation programme or project that benefits people of developing countries;
- meetings of experts and representatives of NGOs as part of international organisations;
- exchanges organised in the context of programmes or projects in the field of development cooperation;
- any type of meeting related to development cooperation in which a Luxembourg representative is delegated by the Minister of Foreign Affairs (Ministre des Affaires étrangères) in charge of development cooperation.
Financial benefits related to development cooperation leave
Experts and representatives of NGOs carrying on self-employed activity may, upon presentation of a written declaration, claim benefit set at double the social minimum wage for qualified workers.
The declaration must be accompanied by a certificate from the competent accredited NGO confirming the applicant's active participation in the activity for which the leave was granted.
Salaried activity in the private sector
Experts and representatives of NGOs with a salaried activity in the private sector can claim compensatory benefit equal to the average daily salary paid by the employer, and the amount cannot exceed 4 times the social minimum wage for unskilled workers. The employer will advance the benefit, which will be reimbursed by the State.
Salaried activity in the public sector
Experts and representatives of NGOs employed in the public sector will continue to receive full pay and job-related benefits during their time on leave.
The fixed remuneration or allowance is granted by the ministry in charge of development cooperation, the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs (Ministère des Affaires étrangères et européennes).
Impacts of development cooperation leave on work relations
The period of development cooperation leave is treated as a period of real work. During leave, the legal and regulatory provisions regarding social security and protection from dismissal remain applicable for beneficiaries.