Linguistic leave

This page was last modified on 08-01-2016

Linguistic leave is a special type of leave granted to employees and self-employed persons of any nationality providing them with the opportunity to learn and improve their Luxembourgish language skills.

Linguistic leave forms part of occupational training in Luxembourg in addition to individual training leave.

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Carry out your procedure:

Who is concerned

Linguistic leave may be granted to:

  • employees who:
    • are working in Luxembourg;
    • are employed in the private sector;
    • have worked for at least 6 months for the same employer established in Luxembourg at the time of the request for leave;
  • persons carrying out a professional activity in the form of a self-employed activity or a liberal profession in Luxembourg for at least 6 months already.

Persons requesting linguistic leave do not need to meet any conditions with regard to age or residence.

Linguistic leave may be granted for any Luxembourgish language course which is taught either in Luxembourg or abroad by:

  • public or private teaching establishments recognised by the public authorities and issuing certificates also recognised by said public authorities;
  • professional chambers or the commune;
  • foundations, natural persons and private associations specifically approved by the Minister responsible for vocational training;
  • ministries, administrations and public establishments.
Language courses which only form a part of a complete vocational training programme or project or which are taught within the framework of special training leave for staff representatives are not eligible.

How to proceed

Duration of leave

The total amount of linguistic leave is limited to 200 hours. This maximum duration is necessarily divided into 2 stages of 80 to 120 hours each for each beneficiary throughout his entire professional career.

Access to stage 2 of the training is only possible after the successful completion of a training course during stage 1, sanctioned by a certificate or diploma.

For persons working on a part-time basis, the days of leave granted are calculated in proportion thereto.

Linguistic leave can be split up, the minimum duration of leave is 30 minutes per day.

Employer's evaluation

Employees are required to submit their application for linguistic leave to their employer who must complete the form. Employers have to decide on the request for linguistic leave.

Their decision can be favourable or unfavourable. In case of a favourable decision, the employer can require a participation certificate from the employee.

In case of an unfavourable decision, the employer must justify the decision. If the employer's decision is unfavourable, the linguistic leave can be deferred on the grounds that the employee's absence would have a major negative impact on business operations or on the smooth functioning of the annual leave plan.

The employer can, for example, deny the request if:

  • a significant number of employees in the department is also absent during the extended period of leave requested, which would result in the organisation of work being seriously disrupted;
  • the applicant cannot be replaced during the notice period of the request for leave because of the specific nature of work carried out by the applicant or the shortage of workers in the targeted field/profession;
  • the applicant's work is of a seasonal nature and the period of leave requested falls into said period of seasonal work.

Application procedure

Applications for linguistic leave must be made on the specific form and submitted to the Ministry of Labour, Employment and the Social and Solidarity Economy, before the beginning of the language courses. Applications from employees must be signed by their employer.

Applications for linguistic leave must include the following information:

  • name and address of the training institution;
  • the time period during which the training takes place;
  • the duration of the training course in number of hours;
  • the hours and period of leave requested.

The following documents must be added to the application for linguistic leave (stage 1) for employees or self-employed workers:

  • the registration certificate(s) showing the number of hours of the training(s) (exams, classes, period, hours, timetables, days, etc.);
  • a copy of the employment contract (only for employees);
  • a social security registration certificate.
  • the employer's decision (only for employees).

The following documents must be added to the application for linguistic leave (stage 2) for employees or self-employed workers:

  • a registration certificate;
  • the diploma or certificate of successful completion received during the stage 1;
  • a social security registration certificate.
  • the employer's decision (only for employees).

Compensatory allowances during a linguistic leave

Employees who have been granted linguistic leave are entitled to compensatory benefits corresponding to their average hourly wage for each hour of leave. The amount cannot exceed 4 times the social minimum wage per hour for unskilled workers.

The employer pays the compensatory benefit. The State reimburses the employer 50 % of the amount of the compensatory benefit and 50 % of the employer's share of social contributions, on the basis of a standard form.

Self-employed persons are entitled to compensatory benefits corresponding to 50 % of the reference amount which is based on the contribution base of their previous financial year's income in respect of pension insurance, limited however to 4 times the social minimum wage for unskilled workers. The benefit is paid after the self-employed worker has sent a declaration on the standard form.

The reimbursement of the salaries corresponding to the hours of training, as well as the right to benefit from stage 2 of linguistic leave depend on the taking of the exam or on a certified attendance to at least 75 % of the courses concerned.

Impact of the linguistic leave on the working relationship

Linguistic leave is considered as an effective period of work. An effective period of work is a period during which employees must abide by their employer's instructions and thus cannot carry out activities other than professional activities.

During the period of linguistic leave, the beneficiary of the leave continues to benefit from the provisions regarding protection against dismissal and social security.

Possible sanctions in the event of false declarations

Allowances received must be immediately reimbursed if they have been obtained through knowingly false or incomplete statements made by the beneficiary. The beneficiary must also pay the legal interest rate for the period ranging from the day the benefits were paid out until the day they were reimbursed.

Who to contact

26, rue Zithe

Postal box L-2939 Luxembourg
Phone: (+352) 2478 6100
Fax: (+352) 2478 6108