Family hospice leave to care for a person at the end of life can be requested by any employee when a relative is suffering from a serious terminal illness.
Who is concerned
Anyone who has:
- a first-degree relative in ascending or descending line (mother/father, mother/father in law, daughter/son or daughter/son in law); or
- a second-degree relative in collateral line (sister/brother, sister/brother in law); or
- a spouse or (legally recognised) partner;
who is terminally ill.
How to proceed
Submitting a request for family hospice leave
Applicants are required to inform, either in person or via an intermediary (orally or in writing - fax, email or text message), their employer on the first day of absence at the latest.
In addition, they must send the following to the National Health Fund (CNS):
- the duly completed application form for family hospice leave for nursing a relative at the end of their life (see 'Forms / Online services' below);
- the certificate of entitlement to family hospice leave drawn up by the attending physician;
- if the dying person has no national identification number in Luxembourg (13-digit social security number - matricule), a copy of the birth certificate, of the family record book or of an identity document.
Granting family hospice leave
After having checked that the conditions for granting the leave are met, the CNS confirms the leave by sending a 'carnet d’accompagnement' (family leave booklet) to the address indicated by the applicant on the application form for the leave.
This booklet includes:
- a set of forms entitled: justificatif d'absence pour congé d'accompagnement (justification of absence for family hospice leave);
- individual labels to be affixed on the forms, each one representing a credit of one hour of family hospice leave.
Only a single family leave booklet will be issued and made available to all of the beneficiaries who are requesting family hospice leave.
At the time the leave is taken, each 'justification of absence for family hospice leave' form must be completed by affixing the number of labels corresponding to the number of hours of declared family hospice leave on the back.
The completed justification of absence form must then be given to the employer.
Duration of family hospice leave
The duration of family hospice leave cannot exceed 5 working days (or 40 hours) per dying relative per year and ends on the date of the person's death.
Family hospice leave may be split up into several periods and may also be taken on a part-time basis in agreement with the employer.
Two persons can share the family hospice leave granted but its total duration cannot exceed 40 hours.
Employees in part-time contracts are also entitled to a maximum of 40 hours family hospice leave.
Family hospice leave and the working relationship
Both salaried workers with a fixed-term employment contract (CDD) or a permanent contract (CDI) are entitled to family hospice leave.
If the fixed-term or permanent employment contract ends during the period of family hospice leave, the family hospice leave measure also ends.
Employees in their trial period are also entitled to family hospice leave. However, in this case the trial period will be extended by a period which is equal to the duration of the leave.
Protection against dismissal and end of the employment contract
The family hospice leave period is considered as a period of incapacity for work because of illness or accident.
During this time, the legal provisions in matters of social security and protection against dismissal continue to apply to the beneficiaries.
Hence, employers who have been informed on the day of the salaried worker's absence for reasons of family hospice leave are not allowed to notify their employee of the termination with notice of their work contract or to summon them to the pre-dismissal interview.
The termination of a contract in violation with the aforementioned provisions is considered abusive and gives rise to the payment of damages.
However, this protection does not apply if:
- the beneficiary did not inform their employer on the first day of absence;
- the notice of the employee's absence is given after the reception of the letter of dismissal or the letter of invitation to the pre-dismissal interview;
- the beneficiary was guilty of serious misconduct.