Development cooperation leave

This page was last modified on 08-01-2016

The aim of development cooperation leave is to enable experts and representatives of approved non-governmental organisations (NGOs) to participate, alongside theur professional activities, in programmes and projects that benefit populations in developing countries, whether their participation is in the country or abroad.

Development cooperation leave gives the right to a maximum of 6 days of leave per year which is added to legal holidays.

Forms / Online services

Carry out your procedure:

Who is concerned

This leave is for employees as well as self-employed workers (or liberal professions) who participate in development cooperation programmes as experts or approved NGO representatives (excluding employees in such organisations) and who fulfil the following conditions:

  • are 18 years old;
  • are citizens of a member state of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD);
  • are called upon to provide services to the population of a developing country as part of a development project or programme;
  • cooperate in the implementation of a development programme or project carried out by an NGO for the benefit of populations in developing countries;
  • have the necessary training and abilities and are adequately prepared.


Salaried workers who wish to benefit from development cooperation leave must have worked at least one year for the same employer.

Additionally, development cooperation leave can only be requested in order to participate in one of the following activities:

  • expeditions or travel to identify, formulate, carry out, oversee, control and assess the cooperation programmes or projects that benefit populations in developing countries;
  • administrative and financial management of an NGO cooperation programme or project that benefits populations in developing countries;
  • meetings of experts and representatives of NGOs in the framework of international organisations;
  • exchanges organised in the context of programmes or projects in the field of development cooperation;
  • any type of meeting related to development cooperation where a representative from Luxembourg is mandated by the minister responsible for development cooperation.

How to proceed

Duration of development cooperation leave

The duration of the development cooperation leave cannot exceed 6 days per year and per beneficiary. This leave may be split up.

Development cooperation leave is considered as an effective period of work, and as such:

  • may not be deducted from annual recreational leave;
  • must be taken into consideration when calculating the days of annual recreational leave.

During his development cooperation leave, the employee continues to benefit from the provisions regarding labour protection and social security.

Applying for development cooperation leave

Applicants must fill in the application form for development cooperation leave in 3 copies stating:

  • surname and first name;
  • date of birth;
  • professional qualifications;
  • dates and duration of the leave requested;
  • data concerning the programme, project, meeting or exchange in question;
  • amount of the fees and other remunerations provided;
  • name of the competent accredited NGO.

The employee must hand in the application to the employer, who:

  • may reject the application if the employee's absence may have a negative impact on business operations or the distribution of annual leave amongst staff.
    Besides, unless the employer agrees to it, development cooperation leave cannot be taken immediately after recreational leave or sick leave, if this should entail a continuous absence of the employee exceeding the total duration of his annual leave.

  • signs and returns the application to the employee.

Finally, the applicant must submit the duly completed and signed application to the competent NGO, who will send the 3 copies to the Development Cooperation Directorate, at least 2 months before the beginning of the leave.

Based on an inter-ministerial committee decision, the minister accepts or rejects the leave and sets, if applicable, its duration and the sum of financial compensation.

The applicant is informed of the decision within 1 month following his application.

If the response is positive, he informs his employer within a minimum of 15 days before the start of the leave.

Remuneration of the employee

During the leave, employers must pay their employee a compensatory allowance corresponding to the average daily salary which may not exceed 4 times the social minimum wage for unskilled workers (i.e. gross amount of EUR 7,691.84 per month as from 1 August 2016).

Upon receipt of a certificate from the relevant NGO confirming the active participation of the employee in the activity for which the leave was granted, the employer may request reimbursement by sending a reimbursement declaration to the Directorate for Development Cooperation.

The application is drafted on paper and the following documents must be attached:

  • the certificate of participation provided by the relevant NGO;
  • the salary slip for the corresponding period.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs reimburses the employer the sum of the financial compensation, as well as the employer's social contributions.

Compensation for self-employed workers

Self-employed workers are entitled to a fixed compensation twice the amount of the daily social minimum wage for skilled workers (i.e. EUR 4,615.12 monthly gross amount as from 1 August 2016).

In order to receive this allowance, the applicant must send an application for reimbursement to the Directorate for Development Cooperation.

The declaration is drafted on paper and the following documents must be attached:

  • the certificate of participation provided by the relevant NGO;
  • the income certificate used for the last tax year as a contribution base for pension insurance.

Who to contact

Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs
6, rue de la Congrégation
Hôtel Saint-Augustin
L-1352 - Luxembourg
Phone: (+352) 247 82351
Fax: (+352) 46 38 42