Working on public holidays

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In Luxembourg, each salaried worker is entitled to 11 public holidays per annum.

If a public holiday falls on a day where the salaried worker is normally not working, the employer must grant a compensatory day of leave to the salaried worker.

If the business situation requires that the salaried worker has to work on a public holiday, the employer must pay a salary premium.

Who is concerned

Every salaried worker and every apprentice is entitled to public holidays.

However, the employer may request that their salaried workers work on a public holiday in return for a salary premium.

In seasonal businesses (the hotel trade, restaurants, drinking establishments and any other business subject to seasonal variations), work on public holidays is compensated by time off or additional leave.

Adolescents (from 15 to 18 years old) benefit from special protection against work on public holidays.

How to proceed

Public holidays

  • New Year's Day (1 January);
  • Easter Monday;
  • 1 May (Labour Day);
  • Europe Day;
  • Ascension Day;
  • Whit Monday;
  • 23 June (National Holiday - celebration of the Grand Duke's birthday);
  • Assumption (15 August);
  • All Saints' Day (1 November);
  • Christmas Day (25 December);
  • Boxing Day (26 December).

The employer may replace these official public holidays by other local or business holidays as long as they grant their salaried workers the 11 public holidays they are entitled to.

Additional holidays are sometimes granted to the salaried workers, namely by means of collective agreements. For example, the Luxembourg banking sector grants an additional legal banking holiday to its salaried workers on Good Friday and on the afternoon of 24 December.

Remunerating public holidays not worked

In principle, a salaried worker will not carry out any work on a public holiday. In this case, their remuneration on that day will depend on:

  • the day of the week (normal weekday or a Sunday);
  • the weekly work schedule of the salaried worker (would the worker have worked that day if it had not been a public holiday?).

Public holiday falling on a normal workday

If a public holiday falls on a normal workday (Monday to Saturday) where the salaried worker would normally have worked, the employer must compensate them as follows:

  • a day of rest to be taken the same day, and;
  • the usual remuneration corresponding to the number of hours the salaried worker would have normally worked if it had not been a public holiday;
Remuneration on a public holiday falling on a normal workday
1 rest day on the same day 1 day
Normal remuneration 100%
TOTAL 1 day + 100 %

Where the salaried worker would normally only have worked 4 hours or less on that day, the employer must grant them ½ day of compensatory leave in addition to the remuneration of the time not worked.

Public holiday falling on a normal workday where the salaried worker would normally not work

If a public holiday falls on a workday (Monday to Saturday) where the salaried worker would normally not have worked, the employer must grant them the following:

  • their usual remuneration, and;
  • a compensatory day of leave to be taken within 3 months.

The employer may, after having consulted with the staff representatives, grant a compensatory day of leave on a predefined date to all staff.

Compensation for work on a public holiday falling on a normal workday where the salaried worker would normally not have to work
Normal remuneration 100 %
+ 1 compensatory rest day 1 day
TOTAL 100 % + 1 day

Example: a salaried worker who does normally not work on Mondays will be entitled to an additional day of leave on Whit Monday.

If business operation prevents the salaried worker from taking their compensatory day of leave within 3 months, the employer must grant the day of leave before the end of the calendar year, or within the first 3 months of the following year if the public holiday was in November or December.

By default, the salaried worker is entitled to the salary corresponding to the duration of said leave.

Case where no compensation is granted on a public holiday falling on a normal workday that is usually a day off
If no compensation: remuneration for work on a public holiday falling on a normal workday where the salaried worker would normally not have to work
Normal remuneration 100 %
+ remuneration for a public holiday 100 %
TOTAL 200 %

Public holiday falling on a Sunday

If a public holiday falls on a Sunday, the salaried worker is entitled to:

  • their usual remuneration;
  • and a compensatory day of leave to be taken within 3 months.

The compensatory day of leave can be taken on an individual basis by each salaried worker.

Compensation for public holidays falling on a Sunday
Normal remuneration 100 %
1 compensatory rest day 1 day
TOTAL 100 % + 1 day

The holiday must be taken in kind. It cannot be replaced by a remuneration.

Compensating public holidays during sick leave or maternity leave

If a public holiday falls on a day where the salaried worker is on sick leave or maternity leave the same rules apply:

  • public holiday falling on a workday: financial compensation included in maternity/sick leave indemnities;
  • public holiday falling on a normal workday where the salaried worker would normally not work: compensatory day of leave to be granted at the end of the maternity/sick leave or financial compensation;
  • public holiday falling on a Sunday: compensatory day of leave to be granted at the end of the maternity/sick leave or financial compensation.

During full-time parental leave, the employment contract is put on hold. The salaried worker is therefore not entitled to compensation for public holidays during that period.

Compensation for work on public holidays

If a company's specific business conditions prevent salaried workers from taking a public holiday off, the salaried workers are entitled to specific compensation, which depends on:

  • the day of the week (normal weekday or a Sunday);
  • the weekly work schedule of the salaried worker (would the worker have worked that day if it had not been a public holiday?).

Seasonal workers fall under a special regime.

Public holiday falling on a normal workday

If a salaried worker must work on a public holiday falling on a day where the salaried worker would normally have worked, the employer must compensate them as follows:

  • their usual remuneration, i.e.:
    • either their normal monthly salary, if they are paid on a monthly basis;
    • or the hourly pay corresponding to the number of hours the salaried worker would have normally worked if they are paid by the hour;
  • the average hourly pay corresponding to the number of hours actually worked, and;
  • a 100 % premium for each hour worked.

The average hourly pay is obtained by dividing the monthly salary by 173.

Remuneration for work on a public holiday falling on a normal workday
Normal remuneration 100 %
+ remuneration for hours actually worked 100 %
+ premium of 100 % of the hours worked on a public holiday 100 %
TOTAL 300 %

Example 1: salaried worker paid on a monthly basis

A salaried worker usually works 40 hours a week, from Monday to Friday, for a monthly salary of EUR 3,500.00 (i.e., an average hourly compensation of 3,500/173 = EUR 20.23).

The salaried worker is asked to work 4 hours on Friday 15 August (public holiday - Assumption).

Remuneration for work on a public holiday for salaried workers paid by the month
Normal monthly salary EUR 3,500.00
+ remuneration for the hours actually worked that day 4 x 20.23 = EUR 80.92
+ 100 % premium for the hours worked on a public holiday EUR 80.92
TOTAL (Remuneration in August) EUR 3,661.84

Example 2 : salaried worker paid by the hour

A salaried worker usually works 6 hours every Friday for an hourly pay of EUR 25.

The salaried worker is asked to work 4 hours on Friday 15 August.

Remunerating work on a public holiday for salaried workers paid by the hour
Standard hourly remuneration (hours that should normally have been worked) 6 x 25 = EUR 150.00
+ remuneration for the hours actually worked that day 4 x 25 = EUR 100.00
+ 100 % premium for the hours worked on a public holiday EUR 100.00
TOTAL (remuneration for work on 15 August) EUR 350.00

The salary premium paid for work on a public holiday is exempt from tax, without limit.

Public holiday falling on a normal workday that is usually a day off

If a salaried worker must work on a public holiday falling on a day where the salaried worker would normally not have worked, the employer must compensate them as follows:

  • the average hourly pay corresponding to the number of hours actually worked;
  • a 100 % premium for each hour worked;
  • and a compensatory day of leave to be taken within 3 months.
Remunerating work on a public holiday falling on a workday where the salaried worker does normally not work
Remuneration for the hours actually worked 100 %
+ premium of 100 % of the hours worked on a public holiday 100 %
1 compensatory rest day 1 day
TOTAL 200 % + 1 day

Where hours worked that day are actual overtime hours, the salaried worker is also entitled to:

  • either a 40 % salary premium;
  • or compensatory rest at a rate of 1.5 hours of rest per overtime hour worked.

Public holiday falling on a Sunday

If a salaried worker works on a public holiday falling on a Sunday, they are entitled to:

  • the average hourly pay corresponding to the number of hours actually worked;
  • a 100 % premium for each hour worked as it is a public holiday;
  • a 70 % premium for each hour worked as it is Sunday work;
  • and a compensatory day of leave to be taken within 3 months.
Remuneration and compensation for work on a public holiday falling on a Sunday
Remuneration for the hours actually worked 100 %
+ premium of 100 % of the hours worked on a public holiday 100 %
+ 70 % premium for the hours worked on a Sunday 70 %
1 day of compensatory rest 1 day
TOTAL 270 % + 1 day

Where hours worked that day are actual overtime hours, the salaried worker is also entitled to:

  • either a 40 % salary premium;
  • or compensatory rest at a rate of 1.5 hours of rest per overtime hour worked.

Businesses subject to seasonal variations

If a salaried worker working for a business which is subject to seasonal trade (the hotel trade, restaurants, drinking establishments and in general, all businesses whose activity is subject to seasonal variations) is working on a public holiday, the employer must grant them:

  • on the one hand:
    • either their usual remuneration, if the salaried worker would normally have worked that day;
    • or a compensatory day of leave if the salaried worker would normally not have worked that day;
  • and on the other hand:
    • either 2 days of paid rest to be taken within 6 months;
    • or 2 days of paid leave which is added to the ordinary leave;
    • or half a day of paid rest per week during the whole year, in return for work on each public holiday (added to the mandatory weekly rest periods).
      In other words, if the salaried worker must work on each of the 11 public holidays in the year, the employer must grant him a half a day of paid rest each working week throughout the whole year.
      For example: a work contract which stipulates a 40 hour work week plus work on each of the 11 public holidays in the year, means that the salaried worker must only work 36 hours per week but that he or she will be paid 40 hours.
Horeca: remuneration for work on a public holiday falling on a normal workday
Normal remuneration 100 %
+ 2 days of rest/leave
or
+ ½ day of rest per week
2 days
or
½ day/week
TOTAL 100 % + 2 days
or
100 % + ½ day/week
Horeca: remunerating work on a public holiday falling on a normal weekday where the salaried worker does normally not work
1 day of compensatory rest 1 day
+ 2 days of rest/leave
or
+ ½ day of rest per week
2 days
or
½ day/week
TOTAL 3 days
or
1 day + ½ day/week

The employer must also record every hour worked on a public holiday including the corresponding remuneration in a special register or specific file (to be presented to the Inspectorate of Labour and Mines (Inspection du travail et des mines - ITM) during any potential inspection).

Protection of adolescents

Adolescents cannot work on Sundays or on public holidays, except in the event of force majeure or if the security or existence of the company is at stake:

  • to avoid a major disruption in the normal business operations of the company;
  • and when the use of adult workers is not possible.

In this case, the employer must notify work on a public holiday to the Inspectorate of Labour and Mines (ITM).

Extended authorisation for Sunday work and work on public holidays

Employers may request from the Minister of Labour an extended authorisation for work on Sundays and public holidays with regard to adolescents (apprentices) working in the following establishments:

  • hotels, restaurants, cafés, dining/drinking establishments;
  • clinics, healthcare and day-care establishments for the aged and/or dependent persons;
  • children's homes and centres involved in the education and care of children.

The period of validity of the authorisation is specified in the document sent to the employer.

Remuneration and compensatory rest

Where the employer has been granted an authorisation to work on a public holiday, the employer must grant the adolescent for every public holiday worked:

  • the remuneration corresponding to the number of hours the adolescent would have normally worked if it had not been a public holiday;
  • the remuneration for the hours actually worked;
  • a 100 % premium for each hour worked;
  • a compensatory day of rest to be granted in the following 12 days.
Remuneration and compensation for an adolescent working on a public holiday
The normal remuneration (for the hours the adolescent would have normally worked) 100 %
+ remuneration for hours actually worked 100 %
+ premium of 100 % of the hours worked on a public holiday 100 %
1 compensatory rest day 1 day
TOTAL 300 % + 1 day

 

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