Reform of paid leave since April 15, 2018

“Do I have to take two consecutive weeks of paid leave?”

This article comes in response to the Law of 8 April 2018, which entered into force on 15 April 2018 and amended article L.233-8 of the Luxembourg Labour Code.

In its previous form, article L.233-8 of the Labour Code stipulated that, in principle, paid leave needed to be taken in a single block, “unless the employee’s job requirements or their justified requests require it to be split”. In summary, although the idea was to require employees to take leave in a single block, it was easy for employees to split their leave freely (or for employers to object to this single block of leave). The same article specified that where leave is split, one of the fractions of leave must consist of at least 12 consecutive calendar days (ALEBA believes that this limit was applied only in the event that the leave was split at the employer’s discretion).

Since the introduction of the Law of 8 April 2018, the basic requirement to take leave in a single block has been lifted (employees do, however, still retain the right to request to take leave in a single block). Furthermore, the Law now provides for a minimum block of two calendar weeks instead of 12 consecutive days. ALEBA believes that the limit of two calendar weeks theoretically only applies when the employer imposes split leave, it being understood that it is still possible to deviate from the Law in a way that is more favourable to the employee.

It should be noted, however, that employees in the banking sector (and all companies subject to CSSF Circular 12/552 of 11 December 2012 concerning central administration, internal governance and risk management applicable to banks, investment firms and professionals conducting lending operations) are required to take 10 consecutive days of leave per year during which they are prohibited from undertaking any work. This rule was established in order to better detect any instances of fraud.

By Matthias Lindauer, Legal Advisor