Sporting leave enables elite sports people, managerial staff, judges or referees and technical and administrative directors with a professional activity to participate in high-level sporting events.
Sporting leave is added to the annual leave as determined by the law or a collective agreement.
Who is concerned
Sporting leave is open to salaried workers and self-employed workers.
The following may benefit from sporting leave:
- elite sports people, managerial staff (official support personnel), judges and referees who participate in:
- the Olympic or Paralympic Games and events authorised by the International Olympic Committee;
- official international or European competitions;
- international competitions, including final and qualification phases;
- training camps where they are registered by the Luxembourg Olympic and Sporting Committee (Comité olympique et sportif luxembourgeois - COSL) or by their federation;
- voluntary technical and administrative directors who:
- participate in official meetings of international sporting federations, the Olympic movement, intergovernmental sporting bodies and non-governmental sporting organisations;
- organise official international or European sporting events in Luxembourg;
- participate in advanced courses for technical and administrative directors on an international or European level.
The number of beneficiaries is limited:
- for sports people: to the maximum number of places which can be granted to the COSL or the federation (including substitutes) in accordance with the rules and regulations of the International Olympic Committee or the competent international federation;
- for managerial staff:
- 4 persons for a group of 1 to 10 sports people;
- 5 persons for a group of 11 sports people or more.
Exceptions may however be granted for sports people in different disciplines participating in the Olympic or Paralympic Games.
Applications for sporting leave are submitted by the Luxembourg Olympic and Sporting Committee (COSL) or by the competent national federation.
In order to benefit from sporting leave, elite sports people and judges or referees must be:
- registered, as non-professionals, with an authorised national federation (licence holder);
- qualified to represent Luxembourg in international competitions.
In order to benefit from sporting leave, technical or administrative directors must carry out voluntary work for an authorised or COSL federation.
How to proceed
Amount of sporting leave
Sporting leave is limited to 12 working days per year and per beneficiary. The duration may be extended by ministerial decision in the following cases:
- for members of a special coaching team for national elite sports people authorised by the State and the COSL;
- for members of national elite sports teams and elite sports people who are preparing for the Olympic or Paralympic Games;
- for technical directors and support personnel of the sports people;
- for referees requested by international sporting federations to referee in official international competitions or to participate in advanced training programmes.
Sporting leave for directors is limited to 50 days per year and per organisation/federation with whom they are registered.
These days do not have to be taken all at once.
Sporting 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 sporting leave, the employee continues to benefit from the provisions regarding labour protection and social security.
An employee must request the approval of his employer if he wishes to add paid annual leave to his sporting leave and where this cumulated leave exceeds the amount of total paid annual leave.
Applying for sporting leave
The COSL or the competent federation submits the request using the corresponding application form:
- application for sporting leave for official support staff;
- application for sporting leave for managers, judges and referees;
- application for sporting leave for elite sports people;
- application for sporting leave for team sports.
The duly completed form must be sent to the Ministerial Department for Sports by post or email at the latest one month before the date of the sporting event, unless the selection is made at a date closer to the event.
Where the beneficiary is an employee, the COSL or the federation inform the employer, within the same deadlines, by submitting an employer's certificate, which must be validated by the employer.
In the case of an application for leave for a training camp, the employer has 8 days to issue his objections, if the employee's absence may have a negative impact on business operations. The detailed objection must be notified in writing:
- to the employee;
- to the organisation that submitted the application (federation or COSL);
- and to the Minister of Sports.
Based on the decision of the special commission of the High Council for Sports (Conseil supérieur des sports), the Minister of Sports accepts or rejects the application for sporting leave and, if applicable, sets its duration.
The application for sporting leave is deemed accepted by the employer if he does not issue an objection within 8 days of receipt of the employer's certificate.
Paying the employee during sporting leave
During the leave, employers must pay their employee a compensatory allowance corresponding to the average daily salary which may not exceed 4 times the social minimum wage for unskilled workers (i.e. gross amount of EUR 7,691.84 per month as from 1 August 2016).
He can then be reimbursed by sending a duly completed request for reimbursement to the Ministerial Department for Sports.
The state 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 also have the right to financial compensation which is paid directly by the State.
The amount is based on the income of the last tax year as a contribution base for pension insurance and may not exceed 4 times the social minimum wage for unskilled workers (i.e. gross amount of EUR 7,691.84 per month as from 1 August 2016).
In order to receive this allowance, the applicant must send a duly completed application for reimbursement to the Ministerial Department for Sports.
The income certificate used for the last tax year as a contribution base for pension insurance must be sent with the application.