Who is concerned
Family hospice leave for nursing a dying or seriously ill person may be requested by any person who has:
- a first-degree relative in ascending or descending line (mother/father, mother/father in law, daughter/son or daughter/son in law) in the terminal phase of a serious illness;
- a second degree relative in collateral line (sister/brother, sister/brother in law) in the terminal phase of a serious illness;
- his/her spouse (wife/husband) or partner (legally recognised) in the terminal phase of a serious illness.
How to proceed
Submitting the application 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.
Moreover, applicants have to send the following to the CNS (national health fund):
- the duly completed application form for family hospice leave;
- the certificate granting family hospice leave issued by the treating doctor;
- if the dying person has no national identification number in Luxembourg (matricule - 13-digit social security number - matricule), a copy of the birth certificate, of the family record book or of an identity document.
It is the employer's responsibility to pay in advance the remuneration due for the days/hours of family hospice leave. The employer will be reimbursed later according to the procedure for the reimbursement of paid periods of incapacity for work.
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.
When the leave is actually taken, each justification of absence for family hospice leave form must be completed by affixing on the back the number of labels corresponding to the number of hours of declared family hospice leave.
The completed justification of absence for family hospice leave form must 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
Fixed-term employment contracts
A salaried worker with a fixed-term employment contract (CDD) is entitled to family hospice leave.
If the fixed-term 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.
Employers who have been informed on the day of the salaried worker's absence for family hospice leave reasons 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 his employer on the first day of his absence;
- the notification of absence is made after the reception of the letter of dismissal or of the summons to the pre-dismissal interview;
- the beneficiary was guilty of serious misconduct.
Any dispute between the employer and a salaried worker relating to family hospice leave is under the jurisdiction of the labour tribunals.