Linguistic leave

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Linguistic leave is a special form of leave granted to employees of all nationalities who wish to learn Luxembourgish or to improve their knowledge of the language.

Linguistic leave forms part of occupational training in Luxembourg in addition to individual training leave.

Who is concerned?

The following people are eligible for linguistic leave:

  • employees;
    • who are working in Luxembourg; and
    • bound by an employment contract to an employer established in Luxembourg; and
    • who have - at the time of application - at least 6 months of service with the same employer;
  • persons carrying out a professional activity in the form of a self-employed activity or a liberal profession in Luxembourg for at least 6 months already.

There are no age or residence requirements for applicants for linguistic leave.

The Luxemburgish language courses eligible for linguistic leave are those provided in Luxembourg or abroad by:

  • public or private teaching establishments recognised by the public authorities and issuing certificates also recognised by said public authorities;
  • professional chambers or local authorities;
  • foundations, natural persons or private associations specifically approved by the Minister responsible for vocational training;
  • ministries, administrations and public establishments.

Language courses which only form a part of a complete vocational training programme or project or which are taught within the framework of special training leave for staff representatives are not eligible.

How to proceed

Duration of leave

The total duration of the linguistic leave is limited to 200 hours, which must be divided into 2 stages of 80 to 120 hours each for each beneficiary throughout their professional career.

In order to benefit from the 2nd stage, it is compulsory to complete a course of training during the 1st stage, evidenced by a diploma or other certificate of achievement.

For persons working on a part-time basis, the days of leave granted are calculated proportionally.

Linguistic leave can be split up, the minimum duration of leave is 30 minutes per day.

Employer's assessment

Employees must submit their application for linguistic leave to their employer, who must complete the form. Employers have to issue an assessment on the request for linguistic leave.

This assessment can be:

  • favourable: the employer may require the employee to present a certificate of participation in the training; or
  • unfavourable: in this case the employer must give reasons for their decision. Leave may be postponed if the employee's absence is likely to have a major impact on the operation of the business or the smooth running of the annual leave.

The employer can reject the application if, for example:

  • a significant number of employees in a service is absent during the period of the requested leave for a longer period of time, resulting in a seriously disturbed organisation of work;
  • the applicant cannot be replaced during the notice period due to the specific nature of their work or the shortage of workers in the target field/profession;
  • the work is seasonal and the period of leave being applied for falls within a busy period.

Application procedure

All requests for language leave must be submitted using the form provided (see 'Online services and forms') to the Ministry of Labour before the course begins. If the applicant is an employee, the application must be validated by their employer.

Applications for linguistic leave must include the following information:

  • name and address of the training institution; and
  • period of the training; and
  • duration of the training course in number of hours;
  • number of hours and period of the requested leave.

Supporting documents

Employees or self-employed workers must attach the following documents to the form:

Compensatory allowance for linguistic leave

Employees who have been granted linguistic leave are entitled to compensatory benefits corresponding to their average hourly wage for each hour of leave. The benefit amount cannot exceed 4 times the social minimum wage per hour for unskilled workers.

The compensatory benefit is paid by the employer. The State reimburses the employer 50% of the compensatory benefit and 50% of the employer's share of social security contributions, on the basis of a form (see 'Forms / Online services').

Self-employed workers, or individuals exercising a liberal profession, are entitled to compensatory benefits corresponding to 50 % of the reference amount calculated on the basis of the previous year's income used as the contribution base for pension insurance. The amount cannot exceed 4 times the social minimum wage for unskilled workers. The payment is made following a declaration by the self-employed person, or the person exercising a liberal profession, using a pre-established form (see ' Forms / Online services').

Successful completion of the course is not necessarily a condition for obtaining language leave.

However, only the fact of having followed a training course and having obtained a diploma or a certificate of completion during the 1st stage gives the right to the reimbursement of the salaries corresponding to the hours of the course as well as the right to obtain the 2nd stage of language leave.

Impact of the linguistic leave on working relationships

Linguistic leave is considered a period of actual work. An effective period of work is a period during which employees must abide by their employer's instructions and thus cannot carry out activities other than professional activities.

During leave, the legal and regulatory provisions in respect of social security and protection against dismissal continue to apply.

Sanctions in the event of false declarations

Any allowances received must be immediately reimbursed if obtained through knowingly false or incomplete statements made by the beneficiary. The beneficiary must also pay interest (at the legal rate) for the period from the day the benefits were paid out until the day they were reimbursed.

Online services and forms

Downloadable forms

Who to contact

Ministry of Labour

Ministry of Labour

2 of 5 bodies shown

2 of 5 bodies shown

Related procedures and links

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