Special leave is granted to employees or apprentices who need to take a leave of absence from work for personal reasons.
The leave must be taken at the time when the triggering event occurs, except in 2 situations: the birth or adoption of a child.
The duration of this special leave depends on the nature of the event (birth, marriage, death, etc.).
This leave may not be counted against the worker's ordinary annual leave days.
Who is concerned
Anyone bound by an employment contract is entitled to special leave for personal reasons.
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 that is legally required in the case of annual leave.
The employer of a worker who wishes to take leave for personal reasons must grant them this special leave.
How to proceed
Types of special leave
Special leave is considered a legal entitlement to leave and, as such, must be included in the register of legal leave entitlements kept by the employer.
The duration of leave for personal reasons granted to an employee depends on the event that gives rise to the leave.
|Duration of leave|
Declaration of civil partnership (PACS)
Moving (leave granted once per 3-year period of employment with the same employer)
|Birth of a child (for the father – regardless of the number of children)||10 days|
|Adoption of a child under 16 years old (unless the worker takes adoption leave)||10 days|
Death of a minor child
Marriage of a child
Death of a spouse or partner
Death of a worker's or their spouse's/partner's first-degree relative (parents, parents-in-law, children, children-in-law)
Death of a worker's or their spouse's/partner's second-degree relative (grandparents, grandchildren, brothers and sisters, brothers-in-law and sisters-in-law)
The employee may be granted additional days of leave for personal reasons if provided for in:
- a collective agreement in force in their company; or
- their company's internal regulations; or
- their employment contract.
To qualify for special leave in the case of a partnership established under foreign law, employees, and cross-border workers in particular, must have their partnership registered in the Luxembourg civil register.
Exception: pregnant women are entitled to an exemption from work, without loss of pay, to attend the prenatal examinations, if these examinations are scheduled during working hours.
Permission to leave work to vote
Employees may obtain permission from their employers to exercise their civic rights and duties, such as voting in communal, legislative, and European Union elections.
Requesting leave for personal reasons
The worker must formally request the leave from their employer, who cannot refuse leave for personal reasons.
Unlike annual paid leave, employees are entitled to special leave from the moment they start working for the company: they do not need to comply with the 3-month waiting period that is legally required in the case of annual leave.
Taking leave for personal reasons
An employer must grant this special leave at the time the triggering event occurs.
With the exception of special leave in the event of the birth of a child, or the adoption of a child under 16, leave for personal reasons cannot be deferred and does not entitle the employee to financial compensation if was not taken within the legal time limits.
It is possible to apply for this type of leave more than once a year if the personal reasons are justified. In the event of moving, 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.
If the triggering event occurs:
- while the employee is on sick leave, the entitlement to leave for personal reasons is lost;
- while the employee is on ordinary leave, the ordinary leave is interrupted and resumes at the end of the leave for personal reasons;
- on a Sunday, a legal public holiday, a working day observed as a holiday or a compensatory day off, the special leave is carried over to the first working day following the event.
The employer must continue to pay the employee's normal salary while the worker is on special leave.
Specific features of special leave in the event of the birth of a child or the adoption of a child under 16
The leave for personal reasons can be split into shorter periods, but must be taken within 2 months of the triggering event.
In principle, the leave is taken according to the worker's wishes, unless the business's operational needs warrant otherwise.
Failing an agreement between the employee and the employer, the leave must be taken all at once, immediately after the event.
The employee must inform their employer of the likely dates on which they intend to take their leave 2 months before the first day of the leave.
This information must:
- be submitted in writing (by ordinary letter, email, fax, etc.) so that the employee can prove, if necessary, that they have complied with the 2-month notice requirement;
- be accompanied by:
- a copy of the medical certificate attesting to the expected delivery date; or
- a supporting document stating the estimated date of arrival of a child under 16 with a view to adoption.
If the employee fails to comply with this time limit, their employer can decide to reduce the amount of leave to 2 days.
In the event of multiple births, the father is only entitled to one paternity leave, as the triggering event is the birth itself.
If the employee is ill (for one or more days) during a predetermined period of paternity leave, the corresponding number of paternity leave days will be lost.
If the initially agreed leave needs to be rescheduled (for example, because of a premature birth) and, therefore, falls within a period of ordinary annual leave, the ordinary leave will be interrupted.
Compensation during special leave is paid from the State budget after the third day of leave, and at the employer's request.
Employers who agree to grant 10 days of paternity leave despite the fact that the worker failed to comply with the 2-month notice requirement, are entitled to reimbursement of salaries paid during the days of leave which exceed the minimum of 2 days.
Employees who work part-time – either because they are on a part-time contract, or because they are on part-time parental leave – are also entitled to 10 days of paternity leave.
Full details can be found in the texts on 'Paternity leave' and 'Applying for adoption leave in the event of adopting a child'.
Forms / Online services
Health insurance - Leave for family reasons
Consult the balance of days of leave taken for family reasons
Caisse de maladie- Jours de congés pour raisons familiales
Consultez votre solde de jours de congés pour raisons familiales
Krankenkasse - Urlaubstage aus familiären Gründen
Resttage des Urlaubs aus familiären Gründen