Pregnancy and maternity leave

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All working women – be they employees, self-employed workers or apprentices – are entitled to maternity leave if they become pregnant.

The term 'maternity leave' covers two types of leave: antenatal leave and postnatal leave.

The purpose of maternity leave is to protect the health of the women concerned, and to allow them time to devote themselves fully to their child after birth.

In addition, during their pregnancy and maternity, employees and apprentices are entitled to certain contractual guarantees and adjustments to their working conditions.

Pregnant women are entitled to:

  • protection against dismissal from the start date of the pregnancy;
  • special protection in terms of health and safety if their job involves specific risks;
  • protection against risks associated with night work;
  • exemption from work to allow them to attend antenatal check-ups;
  • several weeks of leave before and after the birth;
  • adjustments to their working hours if they are breastfeeding.

At the end of their maternity leave, the employee, apprentice or self-employed worker has the option of taking parental leave.

Who is concerned?

Any pregnant woman who:

  • is engaged in a professional activity (as an employee, self-employed worker or apprentice) that is subject to social insurance;
  • does not qualify for other, more favourable statutory or agreed conditions.

This includes women with:

  • an employment contract;
  • an apprenticeship contract;
  • self-employed status.

Most of the administrative procedures related to pregnancy have to be completed by the pregnant woman working in Luxembourg.

The employer, for their part, must grant the pregnant woman certain rights and complete certain specific formalities before, during and after the maternity leave.

Women who are self-employed merely need to inform the relevant health-insurance fund.


Pregnant women must have been registered for mandatory sickness and maternity insurance for at least 6 months in the 12 months preceding the start of maternity leave.


To qualify for the protection scheme for pregnant women, women are free to inform their employer of their pregnancy whenever they wish, but they must submit a medical certificate attesting to their pregnancy:

  • by registered letter with acknowledgement of receipt; or
  • by hand, against the employer's signature acknowledging receipt.

On the other hand, to qualify for maternity leave, pregnant women are required to submit a medical certificate, stating the estimated due date, to the National Health Fund (CNS) and their employer within the last 12 weeks of their pregnancy. The date of issue of the certificate is legally binding.

Example: a certificate issued before the beginning of the 29th week of pregnancy, i.e. before the last 12 weeks of pregnancy, will not be accepted and will be returned to the applicant.

If she wishes to take parental leave at the end of her maternity leave, she must submit an application for parental leave no later than 2 months before the start of the maternity leave. The parental leave allowance is paid by the Children's Future Fund (Caisse pour l'avenir des enfants – CAE).

How to proceed

Applying for maternity leave

Maternity leave is applied for by sending the medical certificate showing the expected date of the birth to the CNS.

Note that this certificate must be issued in the last 12 weeks of pregnancy, and not before. It is possible to determine the first day on which the certificate will be valid using the maternity leave calculation tool on the CNS website.

Antenatal leave

Antenatal leave begins 8 weeks before the expected date of delivery, which must be attested to by a recent medical certificate.

If the birth occurs before the expected date of delivery, any days of antenatal leave that have not been taken are added to the postnatal leave. However, the total duration of maternity leave may not exceed 20 weeks.

If the birth occurs after the expected date of delivery, antenatal leave is extended until the actual date of delivery without reducing the duration of the postnatal leave (12 weeks).

The maternity leave calculation tool is available on the CNS website.

Postnatal leave

Maternity leave continues for 12 weeks after the actual date of delivery.

Example: the expected date of delivery is 4 May, but the baby is actually born on 2 May, 2 days before the due date:

  • the medical certificate showing the expected date of delivery can be issued from 8 February (12 weeks before 4 May);
  • antenatal leave starts on 9 March, i.e. 8 weeks (56 calendar days) before the expected date of delivery (4 May);
  • postnatal leave ends on 26 July, i.e. 84 calendar days from the actual date of delivery, plus 2 days deferred from antenatal leave.

After the delivery, a copy of the newborn's birth certificate must be submitted to the: CNS – Service Indemnités Pécuniaires (Financial benefits department).

The father will be entitled to 10 days (or more, depending on the statutes/collective agreement in force in the company) of extraordinary leave for the birth of a child.

Pregnancy and work


During a job interview, pregnant women are not required to inform their prospective employer of their pregnancy.

If asked by their employer, they are under no obligation to disclose their pregnancy. Pregnancy is considered to be a private matter.

If a pregnant woman is hired, maternity protection only applies from the moment she informs her employer of her condition.

Protection of pregnant women

Pregnant or breastfeeding women who are engaged in a professional activity, whether as an employee, a self-employed worker or under an apprenticeship, are entitled to a whole range of protective measures. Full details on this subject can be found in the explanatory text entitled 'Protection scheme for pregnant or breastfeeding women'.

Amount of the maternity benefits

During maternity leave, a woman who is engaged in a professional activity – whether as an employee, an apprentice or a self-employed worker – is entitled to receive maternity benefits.

These benefits are paid by the CNS (and not by their employer, if the woman is an employee or an apprentice).

In essence, the benefits amounts to:

  • for a woman who is an employee or apprentice:
    • the highest salary received in the 3 months preceding the maternity leave;
    • plus, where applicable, the average amount of complementary and accessory benefits received in the 12 months preceding the month before the start of the maternity leave;
  • for a woman who is a self-employed worker: the contribution base in force at the time the maternity leave is taken.

Financial maternity benefits cannot be:

In the case of part-time work, the threshold is established based on the hourly social minimum wage.

The maternity benefits cannot be cumulated with sickness benefits, nor with any other professional income.

Maintaining the employment relationship

During the maternity leave, the employment contract is maintained and therefore the leave is considered a period of actual work.

The employer is therefore required to:

  • take maternity leave into consideration when calculating the number of days of annual leave. Any days of annual leave that have not taken by the employee before the start of the maternity leave can be deferred within the legal time limits (until 31 March of the following year);
  • take maternity leave into consideration when calculating the employee's seniority and related entitlements;
  • keep the employee's position open while she is on maternity leave, or, if this is not possible, offer her an equivalent position commensurate with her qualifications and with a salary at least equivalent to her current salary level;
  • maintain any benefits accrued by the employee prior to her maternity leave;
  • allow her to benefit from any improvements in working conditions introduced during her maternity leave.

During the maternity leave:

  • the employee or apprentice will no longer receive either her salary or any benefits in kind to which she was entitled before her leave (meal vouchers, company car, etc.). Those are replaced by the maternity benefits;
  • the employer must not de-register the employee from the Joint Social Security Centre (Centre commun de la sécurité sociale – CCSS).

Additionally, the employer must:

  • suspend salary payments throughout the period of leave. The payslips and salary declarations filed with the CCSS should therefore show a salary of zero (EUR 0). Benefits in kind (company car, lunch vouchers, etc.) can also be suspended during maternity leave;
  • declare the absence of the employee to the CCSS in the monthly sick leave declarations.

The health-insurance fund will retrieve the required information from the CCSS in order to pay out the maternity benefits due.

Parental leave

At the end of the maternity leave, both parents are entitled to parental leave, on a part-time, full-time or split-time basis. Full details on parental leave can be found in our explanatory information page on 'Parental leave in the event of the birth or adoption of a child'.

Termination of the working relationship

If the employee does not wish to return to work at the end of her maternity leave in order to look after her child, she can resign without notice without having to pay a termination fee for breach of contract.

However, she will be given priority for re-employment for a period of one year, with all the benefits she had before leaving.

Resignation without notice is only available to women who decide to give up their job in order to devote themselves fully to raising their child. Resignation without notice is not available to women who simply wish to change employers at the end of their maternity leave.

Online services and forms

Who to contact

Children's Future Fund

Children's Future Fund

National Health Fund (CNS)

2 of 8 bodies shown

National Health Fund (CNS)

2 of 8 bodies shown

Related procedures and links

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