Organising working time

This page was last modified on 05-01-2018

Standard work time for salaried workers is 8 hours per day and 40 hours per week.

The applicable collective agreement may set lower limits.

The employer may determine a reference period of up to 4 months during which employees may be employed beyond the limits mentioned above.

In order to do so, the employer must set up:

  • either a working hours plan (plan d'organisation du travail - POT);
  • or flexible working hours (flexitime).

However, the maximum work hours cannot exceed 10 hours per day, or 48 hours per week in either case.

The employer must also grant minimum rest periods to his employees:

  • 11 consecutive hours within each 24 hour time frame;
  • 44 consecutive hours within each 7 day period.
Where the daily work time exceeds 6 hours, each salaried worker is entitled to one or more rest periods, whether paid or not.

Who is concerned

The employer can put in place a working hours plan (POT) or flexitime (flexible work hours schedule) which can apply to:

  • either all employees;
  • or certain employees only.

Example: the operational needs of the business may require a working hours plan for the salaried workers in production, whereas flexitime can be granted to the salaried workers in administration.

The regulation on working hours does not apply to the following persons:

  • salaried workers working from home;
  • fairground personnel;
  • inland waterway carriers;
  • travelling salesmen and sales representatives (who do not work on the company premises);
  • senior management whose physical presence in the business is necessary for operational and surveillance purposes;
  • family businesses.

The following salaried worker's categories are subject to specific regimes:

  • workers in health care establishments, nursing homes, summer camps, orphanages and boarding schools;
  • mobile staff in road transport businesses;
  • employees, apprentices and trainees in the HORECA sector (hotels, restaurants and cafes).

Prerequisites

The employer must comply with the rules and regulations in place when organising work schedules with respect to:

Preliminary steps

Before implementing the working hours plan, the employer must consult with the staff delegation or, in absence thereof, with all the staff concerned. In the event of a negative opinion, the employer can refer the matter to the Inspectorate of Labour and Mines (ITM) to find an agreement.

The decision to set up a POT, which is valid for 24 months and tacitly renewable, comes into force at the earliest one month after the start of the consultations and must be notified to the ITM in the month of its taking effect.

It is necessary to determine a reference period before setting up a working hours plan (POT) or flexitime.

The employer can introduce a reference period during which the salaried workers can work for more than 8 hours a day or 40 hours per week provided that:

  • the average weekly work time over a period of 4 consecutive weeks does not exceed 40 hours;
  • and that the maximum work time is not exceeded (i.e. 10 hours a day and 48 hours per week).

The reference period is usually 4 weeks or 1 month. Where the reference period is part of a collective agreement, it may be shorter or longer but cannot exceed 12 months maximum.

If overtime hours have been worked, they must be remunerated or compensated as such.

How to proceed

The working hours plan (POT)

Setting up a working hours plan

An employer may decide to implement a working hours plan (plan d'organisation du travail - POT) which defines the weekly working hours for his employees in order to adapt to changes in business activity levels.

The working hours plan need not be drafted individually in the salaried worker's name, but it must allow the concerned salaried worker and his immediate superior to be immediately informed about the salaried worker's precise work schedule.

The following essential information must be indicated in the working hours plan:

  • the beginning and end of the reference period and of the POT;
  • the usual working schedule, i.e. the beginning and end of the working day and the number of working hours to be carried out per day and per week;
  • the days where the business is closed, public and customary holidays as well as individual and/or collective leave;
  • a weekly uninterrupted period of rest of 44 hours and where applicable, the compensatory rest if the 44 hour rest is not respected.

Implementing the working hours plan

Once the POT has been set up, it must be submitted, at the latest 5 days before its entry into force, for approval to the staff delegation or, failing that, to the employees concerned. In case of disagreement, the ITM can be requested to try to reach an agreement.

Employers are required to:

  • inform all the staff concerned about the working hours plan, by the most appropriate means (company notice board, intranet, e-mail, etc.);
  • publicly display the working hours plan at the company's main entrances;
  • send a copy of the working hours plan:
    • to the Director of the Inspectorate of Labour and Mines (ITM) ;
    • to the staff delegation.
Example of a working hours plan covering a 4 week reference period
 Week 1Week 2Week 3Week 4
Monday 4 hours 10 hours 4 hours 10 hours
Tuesday 10 hours 10 hours 4 hours 8 hours
Wednesday 10 hours 4 hours 10 hours 6 hours
Thursday 8 hours 4 hours 10 hours 6 hours
Friday / 10 hours / 6 hours
Saturday / 10 hours 10 hours 6 hours
Sunday / / / /
Total 32 hours 48 hours 38 hours 42 hours

The total hours worked during the reference period is 160 hours and the average working week is 40 hours. As a consequence, hours worked past the 8 hours per day or 40 hours per week are not to be considered overtime.

Overtime

In the context of a POT, and if not provided for otherwise in a collective labor agreement, any monthly work hours that fall in the following categories are to be considered as overtime:

  • 12.5% ​​of normal monthly working hours, legal or provided for by collective labor agreement, if a reference period of between a minimum of one month and a maximum of 3 months is applied;
  • 10% of normal legal or collective labour agreement monthly working hours in the case of a reference period between a minimum of 3 months and 4 months maximum.

Modification of the POT during its application

During the application of a POT, the work hours which exceed the hours fixed by the POT, without exceeding the maximums provided for in the preceding paragraph, are not considered as overtime:

  • if the POT is changed, at the request of the employer, during implementation;
  • if the change is communicated to the employee at least 3 days in advance.

Hours exceeding the initial time by more than 2 hours are compensated at 1.2 hours for one hour worked:

  • if the change is communicated less than 3 days in advance;
  • if the change does not result in an increase in the hours originally planned but only in a change of schedule.

These hours are also considered as overtime by tax legislation and social security.

Additional leave

Employees concerned by a POT that is not provided for by a collective labor agreement benefit from additional leave:

  • one and a half days per year in the case of a reference period between a minimum of one month and a maximum of 2 months;
  • 3 days per year in the case of a reference period between a minimum of 2 months and a maximum of 3;
  • 3 and a half days per year in the case of a reference period between a minimum of 3 months and a maximum of 4 months.

Part-time staff

The employer may also apply the working hours plan to his part-time staff, provided that:

  • the duration of the average working week during the reference period does not exceed the number of weekly hours stipulated in the part-time employment contract;
  • the salaried worker does not exceed his daily or weekly working time by more than 20 % compared to the duration stipulated in his employment contract. This rate may be increased:
    • with the salaried worker's approval;
    • if the rate is indicated in the employment contract or in an addendum thereto;
    • if the total duration of work does not exceed the duration foreseen for a full-time position.

In the context of a POT, and if not provided for otherwise in a collective labor agreement, any monthly work hours that fall in the following categories are to be considered as overtime:

  • 12,5% of normal legal or collective labour agreement monthly working hours in the case of a reference period between 1 month minimum and 3 months maximum;
  • 10% of normal legal or collective labour agreement monthly working hours in the case of a reference period between 3 months minimum and 4 months maximum.

Part-time employees covered by a POT not provided for in a collective labor agreement, receive additional leave in proportion to their working time:

  • one and a half days per year in the case of a reference period between a minimum of one month and a maximum of 2 months;
  • 3 days per year in the case of a reference period between a minimum of 2 months and a maximum of 3;
  • 3 and a half days per year in the case of a reference period between a minimum of 3 months and a maximum of 4 months.

Flexible working hours

Flexible working hours allow the salaried workers to organise their daily working hours and time on an individual basis in accordance with their personal needs as long as they respect:

  • operational needs;
  • co-workers' justified needs;
  • the maximum working hours (10 hours a day and 48 hours a week).

The decision relating to the establishment of flexible working hours, as well as its periodicity, its content and its modalities including the modifications, is taken within the framework of a collective labor agreement or by mutual agreement between the company and the staff delegation or, failing that, the employees concerned.

Core working hours and flexible working hours

Within the framework of flexible working hours, the employer can set:

  • fixed daily working hours where the salaried workers must be present;
  • time slots for flexible working hours that the salaried workers are free to organise at their own convenience.
    However, the flexible working hour scheme may foresee that the employer can occasionally request the salaried worker's presence during these specific time periods (e.g. for the purposes of a meeting, vocational training, etc.);
  • the number of overtime hours which can be transferred to the next reference period;
  • the deadline allocated to compensate for missing working hours during the next reference period.

Example: the employer decides to set the working hours as follows:

  • fixed working hours from 9.00 to 12.00 and from 14.00 to 17.00
  • flexible working hours from 7.00 to 9.00, 12.00 to 14.00 and from 17.00 to 19.00.

The salaried workers can organise their arrival to and departure from work according to personal needs as long as they comply with the required average daily and weekly working times stipulated in their work contract and are at work during the fixed working hours.

Timesheet statements

At the end of each reference period, the employer must draw up a timesheet statement detailing the working hours for each salaried worker:

  • if the statement indicates an excess of working hours compared to the legal or conventional duration of working hours:
    • these extra hours can be transferred to the following reference period depending on the flexible working hour scheme, or;
    • the extra hours are considered as overtime (if the total excess hours are not transferred to the following reference period), in part or in total, if the additional working time was on the employer's request because of operational needs;
  • if the timesheet statement shows a deficit of working hours:
    • this deficit may, depending on the organization of the flexible working hours schedule, be offset in the following reference period without giving rise to increases for additional hours of work, where;
    • the deficit may be made up for by deducting the number of missing hours from the salaried worker's annual leave, but only if approved by the concerned salaried worker.

Example: the flexible working hour scheme stipulates that it is not possible to save more than 10 excess hours without the employer's consent:

  • only the first 10 excess hours are transferred to the following reference period;
  • hours worked in excess of 10 excess hours are to be considered as overtime which cannot be transferred to the next reference period. They will be paid out as such provided that they were approved or requested by the employer because of operational needs.
The employer must forward the global timesheets for each organisational unit to the staff delegation at the end of each reference period.

Who to contact

3, rue des Primeurs
L-2361 - Strassen
Postal box BP 27, L-2010
Luxembourg
Phone: (+352) 247 76100
Fax: (+352) 247 96100
Email contact@itm.etat.lu

Opening hours
from Monday to Friday from 8.30 to 12.00 and 13.30 to 16.30