Development cooperation leave

Last updated more than 5 years ago

The aim of development cooperation leave is to enable experts and representatives of approved non-governmental organisations (NGOs) to participate, alongside theur professional activities, in programmes and projects that benefit populations in developing countries, whether their participation is in the country or abroad.

Development cooperation leave gives the right to a maximum of 6 days of leave per year which is added to legal holidays.

Who is concerned

This leave is for employees as well as self-employed workers (or liberal professions) who participate in development cooperation programmes as experts or approved NGO representatives (excluding employees in such organisations) and who fulfil the following conditions:

  • are 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 population of a developing country as part of a development project or programme;
  • cooperate in the implementation of a development programme or project carried out by an NGO for the benefit of populations in developing countries;
  • have the necessary training and abilities and are adequately prepared.


Salaried workers who wish to benefit from development cooperation leave must have worked at least one year for the same employer.

Additionally, development cooperation leave can only be requested in order to participate in one of the following activities:

  • expeditions or travel to identify, formulate, carry out, oversee, control and assess the cooperation programmes or projects that benefit populations in developing countries;
  • administrative and financial management of an NGO cooperation programme or project that benefits populations in developing countries;
  • meetings of experts and representatives of NGOs in the framework 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 where a representative from Luxembourg is mandated by the minister responsible for development cooperation.

How to proceed

Duration of development cooperation leave

The duration of the development cooperation leave cannot exceed 6 days per year and per beneficiary. This leave may be split up.

Development cooperation leave is considered as an effective period of work, and as such:

  • may not be deducted from annual recreational leave;
  • must be taken into consideration when calculating the days of annual recreational leave.

During his development cooperation leave, the employee continues to benefit from the provisions regarding labour protection and social security.

Applying for development cooperation leave

Applicants must fill in the application form for development cooperation leave in 3 copies stating:

  • 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 the employer, who:

  • may reject the application if the employee's absence may have a negative impact on business operations or the distribution of annual leave among the company's general staff.
    Moreover, unless the employer agrees to it, development cooperation leave cannot be taken immediately after recreational leave or sick leave, if this should entail a continuous absence of the employee exceeding the total duration of his annual leave;
  • signs and returns the application to the employee.

Finally, the applicant must submit the duly completed and signed application to the competent NGO, who will send the 3 copies to the Development Cooperation Directorate, at least 2 months before the beginning 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 is informed of the decision within 1 month following his application.

If the response is positive, he informs his employer within a minimum of 15 days before the start of the leave.

Remuneration of the employee

During the leave, the employer pays the employee a financial compensation corresponding to the average daily wage and which may not exceed 4 times the social minimum wage for unskilled workers.

Upon receipt of a certificate from the relevant NGO confirming the active participation of the employee in the activity for which the leave was granted, the employer may request reimbursement by sending a reimbursement declaration to the Directorate for Development Cooperation.

The declaration is drafted on paper and the following documents must be attached:

  • the certificate of participation provided by the relevant NGO;
  • the salary slip for the corresponding period.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs reimburses the employer the sum of the financial compensation, as well as the employer's social contributions.

Compensation for self-employed workers

Self-employed workers are entitled to a fixed compensation twice the amount of the daily social minimum wage for skilled workers (i.e. EUR 5,140.78 monthly gross amount as from 1 January 2020).

In order to receive this allowance, the applicant must send an application for reimbursement to the Directorate for Development Cooperation.

The declaration is drafted on paper and the following documents must be attached:

  • the certificate of participation provided by the relevant NGO;
  • the income certificate used for the last tax year as a contribution base for pension insurance.

Forms / Online services

Demande d’octroi d’un congé de coopération au développement

Les informations qui vous concernent recueillies sur ce formulaire font l’objet d’un traitement par l’administration concernée afin de mener à bien votre demande.

Ces informations sont conservées pour la durée nécessaire par l’administration à la réalisation de la finalité du traitement

Les destinataires de vos données sont les administrations compétentes dans le cadre du traitement de votre demande. Veuillez-vous adresser à l’administration concernée par votre demande pour connaître les destinataires des données figurant sur ce formulaire. Conformément au règlement (UE) 2016/679 relatif à la protection des personnes physiques à l'égard du traitement des données à caractère personnel et à la libre circulation de ces données, vous bénéficiez d’un droit d’accès, de rectification et le cas échéant d’effacement des informations vous concernant. Vous disposez également du droit de retirer votre consentement à tout moment.

En outre et excepté le cas où le traitement de vos données présente un caractère obligatoire, vous pouvez, pour des motifs légitimes, vous y opposer.

Si vous souhaitez exercer ces droits et/ou obtenir communication de vos informations, veuillez-vous adresser à l’administration concernée suivant les coordonnées indiquées dans le formulaire. Vous avez également la possibilité d’introduire une réclamation auprès de la Commission nationale pour la protection des données ayant son siège à 15, boulevard du Jazz L-4370 Belvaux.

En poursuivant votre démarche, vous acceptez que vos données personnelles soient traitées dans le cadre de votre demande.

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