The Luxembourg Government recommends that companies should make maximum use of telework as far as possible and reduce their activities to tasks that are essential to the operation of the company.
Extraordinary ‘leave for family reasons’
In its press release of 12 March 2020, the Luxembourg Government exceptionally authorised employees to take extraordinary family leave to care for minor children due to the closure of educational facilities.
Who can benefit from the leave for family reasons?
The leave can be taken regardless of whether or not the child is quarantined.
In order to benefit from the leave for family reasons :
The Government considers that leave for family reasons should be the last resort (in the absence of other options for childcare at home). Other measures such as remote working should therefore be favoured whenever possible.
What procedure must the employee follow?
The completed form is equivalent to a medical certificate with regard to the employer and the CNS.
In addition, the employer will forward the statement of actual days on leave for family reasons to the social security.
Can the employee split his leave for family reasons?
The employee can interrupt and split the leave as necessary. The employer must be informed as soon as possible of any changes. The employee must complete and send in the form at the beginning of the leave.
Can both employed parents take family-related leave at the same time?
Both parents cannot take family leave at the same time. However, the leave may be alternated according to their needs, on condition that both parents are affiliated to the Luxembourg social security scheme. Each parent must fill in a separate form.
Can the employer refuse the leave for family reasons?
The employer cannot refuse the leave for family reasons if the employee has followed the legal procedure (informing the employer and sending the completed form). This means that even when teleworking is possible, the employer cannot in principle refuse to grant leave for family reasons.
Short-time work (‘chômage partiel’)
Short-time work is a possible option to cope with a decline in activity that prevents the employer from employing its employees on a full-time basis.
What are the conditions to be met to benefit from short-time working?
Short-time working can be requested by any company in difficulty, seeing its activity significantly reduced (including up to a total interruption of activity), due to the coronavirus.
Short-time working scheme in the event of force majeure can apply for employees:
In the event of an agreement, the Employment Fund will cover 80% of the normal salaries (capped at 250% of the minimum social wage for unskilled employees, i.e. EUR-.5,354.97) for a maximum of 1,022 hours per employee.
More information on short-time working in cases of force majeure is available here.
How can employers benefit from short-time work?
A specific form is available online here.
The Ministry has indicated that companies can submit their application for short-time working until Friday 20 March 2020. The ‘Comité de Conjoncture’ will meet on 23 March 2020.
The written request must be submitted to the Comité de Conjoncture to Ministry of the Economy (the request can also be sent by email):
Ministère de l’Economie – Comité de conjoncture
19-21, boulevard Royal
Tel. : (+352) 247-84329 / 247-84337 / 247-84345
Fax : (+352) 46 04 48
Email : [email protected]
The request must be co-signed by the president of the staff delegation or his representative or by all the employees concerned for companies without a staff delegation.
A separate application is to be submitted for March and April.
‘Quarantine’ as a preventive measure
Can an employer force its employees to take their annual leave or unpaid leave, or use any time in their time-saving account (‘compte épargne temps’), out of fear of the coronavirus spreading within the company?
The employer may not oblige his employees to take such leave. Thus, the employer who decides to release the employee would have to bear the cost (e.g. grant a work dispensation or additional leave to the employee concerned), except if the employee agrees to take annual leave.
Certificate proving the need to cross the border for frontier workers residing in France, Germany and Belgium
In order to facilitate the entry of frontier workers into Luxembourg during possible border controls, the Luxembourg Government has drawn up certificates attesting to the employment relationship with the employee.
These certificates, which must be completed by the employer, serve as proof of the need to cross the border between France/Germany/Belgium and Luxembourg in the context of the COVID-19 situation.
On presentation of this certificate, frontier workers residing in France, in Germany or in Belgium will be exempted from the restrictions on border crossings.
Please find below the certificates :
Exceptional tax measure between Luxembourg and Belgium concerning teleworking by frontier workers: situation of Belgian and French border residents.
On 16 March 2020, the Government issued the following press release:
‘As a result of the health situation linked to the Covid-19 crisis, many frontier workers will be forced to telework more in the days and weeks to come.
The Final Protocol to the Belgian-Luxembourg Convention provides for a rule of tolerance allowing cross-border workers to exercise their activity for a maximum of 24 days outside their usual State of activity while remaining taxable in that State.
The Belgian and Luxembourg authorities consider that the current situation relating to the coronavirus constitutes a case of force majeure, for which no days are to be counted under the 24-day rule.
It has therefore been decided that, as from Saturday 14 March 2020, the presence of a worker at home, in particular to carry out teleworking, will not be taken into account in calculating the 24-day period. This measure applies until further notice.’
Government press release of 16 March 2020.
Visit our Corona Virus Resource Page and find the information and tools you need to help you manage your international workforce in these times of crisis.