Special leave is granted to employees who must take leave of absence from work for personal reasons.
It must be taken, with 2 exceptions (birth and adoption), when the event takes place and may not be carried over onto the salaried worker's ordinary leave.
The duration of this special leave depends on the nature of the stated reason (birth, marriage, death, etc.).
This leave may not be counted against the worker's paid annual leave.
Who is concerned
The employer whose salaried worker must take leave of absence from work for personal reasons (marriage, move, death of a family member, etc.) must grant the worker special leave, even if the person has only just been hired.
How to proceed
Duration of the leave for personal reasons
The duration of leave for personal reasons granted to a salaried worker depends on the event that gives rise to the leave.
|Duration of leave|
Declaration of partnership
Moving (leave granted once per 3-year period of employment with the same employer)
|Birth of a child (for the father – regardless of the number of children)||10 days|
|Adoption of a child under 16 years old (unless the worker receives settling-in leave in case of adoption)||10 days|
Death of a minor child
Marriage of a child
Death of a spouse or partner
Death of the worker's or their spouse's/partner's first-degree relative (parents, parents-in-law, children, children-in-law)
Death of the worker's or the spouse's/partner's second-degree relative (grandparents, grandchildren, brothers and sisters, brothers-in-law and sisters-in-law)
In the event of moving, the 2 days of special leave are granted only once over a 3-year period with the same employer unless the worker has to move for professional reasons.
A collective agreement, internal regulation or employment contract may grant additional days of special leave to workers concerned.
In the case of a partnership established abroad, the partners are recognised as such after registering their partnership at the Luxembourg civil register.
Requesting leave for personal reasons
The worker must expressly request the leave from his or her employer, who cannot refuse leave for personal reasons.
An employer must grant this leave at the time the event takes place.
As a matter of fact and with the exception of special leave in the event of the birth of a child or the adoption of a child of less than 16 years of age, the leave for personal reasons cannot be deferred and cannot be replaced by a financial compensation if the leave could not be taken within the legal deadlines.
Unlike annual paid leave, salaried workers have the right to take special leave from the moment they start working for the company.
Workers may take advantage of this type of leave several times throughout the year as long as it is justified for personal reasons.
For the duration of the leave, the employer must continue to pay the employee's normal salary.
Furthermore, special leave is considered as legal holiday and must be included in the register of legal holidays kept by the employer.
- if the event takes place during a period where the employee is on sick leave, the right to special leave is lost;
- if the event takes place during the salaried worker's ordinary annual leave, the ordinary leave is interrupted by the special leave and resumes at the end of the special leave. However, special leave cannot be carried over to ordinary annual leave;
- if the event takes place on a Sunday, a legal public holiday, a working day during which the worker did not have to work or during a compensatory day of rest, the special leave is carried over to the first working day which follows the event.
The particularities of special leave in the event of the birth of a child or the adoption of a child of less than 16 years of age
The leave for personal reasons can be split up into shorter periods but must be taken within 2 months following the event.
In principle, the leave is taken according to the worker's wishes unless the business's operational needs does not allow for this.
In the absence of an agreement between the salaried worker and the employer, the leave must be taken all at once and immediately after the event.
Salaried workers must notify their employer in writing 2 months in advance and indicate the estimated dates during which they intend to take the leave.
This information must be provided together with:
- a copy of the medical certificate attesting the presumed date of birth; or
- where applicable, a supporting document stating the estimated date of arrival of a child of less than 16 years of age with a view to his/her adoption.
Failure to comply with this deadline may result in the reduction of the leave to 2 days on decision by the employer.
In the event of multiple births, the father is only entitled to one paternity leave as the event giving rise to the leave is the birth.
In the event of illness of the worker during one or more days of the planned paternity leave, these days of paternity leave during which the worker was ill are lost and may not be carried over.
If the planned period of paternity leave has to be moved, in particular in the event of a premature birth and if the premature birth falls within a planned period of annual leave, the period of annual leave is interrupted for the duration of the paternity leave.
These days of leave are paid by the state budget after the third day of leave on specific request from the employer.
Employers who agree to grant a paternity leave of 10 days despite the fact that the worker did not comply with the 2-month notification deadline are entitled to the reimbursement of salaries paid during the days of leave which exceed the minimum of 2 days.
Part-time salaried workers, either on the basis of their employment contract, or on the basis of a part-time parental leave, are also entitled to 10 days of paternity leave for which the worker's normal working time taken into account for the reimbursement may vary.
Permission to leave work for voting purposes
Salaried workers may obtain permission from their employers to exercise their civic rights and duties, such as voting in municipal (communal), legislative, and European elections.