START OF THE EMPLOYMENT RELATIONSHIP
Who can work in Luxembourg?
For EU and EEE Member States nationals, the only condition is to be at least 15 or 18 years old and to not be under compulsory education anymore.
For non EU Member States nationals, there is one additional condition; they should be in possession of a valid administrative authorisation.
What are the main sorts of labour contract that exist in Luxembourg?
The open-ended employment contract and the fixed-term employment contract.
What are the main features of each of them?
Open-ended employment contracts are the most common employment contracts, their main feature being of course that they are concluded for an indefinite duration.
They may be terminated:
• by mutual agreement;
• with notice, the duration of which is calculated based on the seniority of the employee;
• without notice in case of gross misconduct;
• by economic lay-offs.
Fixed-term Employment Contracts are only permissible for the realisation of definite and non-lasting tasks. They may not be used to fill a post resulting from the normal and permanent activity of the company. They may be concluded for:
• the temporary replacement of employees or replacement of an employee with an open-ended employment contract whose post has become vacant until the effective date of entry into service of the employee replacing the one whose contract has ended;
• the performance of seasonal work and the performance of work in sectors of activity in which it is common not to conclude open-ended employment contracts, such as TV reporters;
• the performance of work resulting from an extraordinary and temporary workload or from the starting up of a company;
• the performance of urgent work to avoid accidents and to repair weaknesses in materials or to organise safety measures for the company’s properties so that the company may not be held liable in case of damages suffered by employees or company’s properties.
In principle, fixed-term employment contracts may only be renewed twice within a 24-month maximum period (subject to conditions). Such renewals should be expressly provided for in the initial fixed-term employment contract or in an amendment to the initial contract.
Fixed-term employment contracts may not be terminated before the completion of their term, except during the trial period, or by mutual agreement or in case of gross misconduct.
What information should employees be given in Luxembourg?
The employment contract needs to clearly define the identity of the parties to it, its effective date, the nature of the employment, the daily or weekly duration of work, the work schedule, the salary, the duration of paid leave, the notice period to be complied with in case of termination, the duration of the trial period, if any and the collective agreements, if any, the employment contract is subject to.
During the entire duration of the employment contract, the employer shall provide all necessary information in relation to the risks, the security and the health on the workplace, or, in other words, the employee is entitled to receive all the information necessary to work in safe conditions. A simple note might not always be sufficient, if the security information reaches a certain level of complexity, a training course, at the expense of the employer, shall be held during office hours.
DURING THE EMPLOYMENT RELATIONSHIP
What are the main employment rights in Luxembourg?
The right to be remunerated, the right to work, the right to require from his employer to respect the entire social regulation, but also to apply all facilities laid down in the law.
What are the maximum permitted daily, weekly, monthly and annual working hours?
10 hours a day, 48 hours per week.
Students working the whole year are entitled to work for 10 hours per week. In cases of seasonal work, the students are permitted to work no more than 320 hours annually.
Are there any minimum number of hours required?
This depends on the type of relationship. For full-time work, the person will in principle work 40 hours a week. This can be flexible. For part time work, the working hours will be adapted accordingly.
What is the minimum holiday entitlement?
Can a contract be modified while still valid and in force? If so, under which circumstances?
Yes, it can under the following circumstances:
• at any time if the parties agree to do so; or
• unilaterally by the employer as an alternative to the dismissal of the employee or to change non-written agreements.
Are any particular employment relationships subject to special protection?
Yes, there are:
• Protection of the employee when he/she has valuable reasons to be absent (sickness of him/herself or of his/her child, for family reasons, pregnancy or maternity, parental leave, etc.)
• Protection of the employees who is in a reclassification procedure or who has just been reclassified
• Protection because of a collective mandate of the employee
Are there any obligations to consult with a works council and/or to undertake collective bargaining?
Yes, there are. Indeed, collective bargaining is defined as agreements negotiated between on one side employees' labour unions (or employees' syndicates) and on the other hand one or several employers, companies, or employers' organisations.
Furthermore, collective bargaining is mandatory in some areas such as agents of service companies of security and guarding, insurance, banks, building and civil engineering, tilers, bus drivers and auxiliary employees of the companies of private buses, Taxi drivers, electricians, Luxembourgish garage owners, installers of elevators, sanitary installers, of heating and air conditioning and installers refrigeration engineers, mechanics of agricultural machines, graphs businesses, cleaning of buildings, painters, pharmacies, etc.
Every business that employs at least 150 employees over a three-year reference period must have a joint works council. The number of members depends on the size of the business. Joint work councils are composed of an equal number of employer’s and employees’ representatives.
END OF THE EMPLOYMENT RELATIONSHIP
When and how can an employer terminate an employment relationship?
A dismissal with notice period.
A dismissal with immediate effect is possible in the event of gross misconduct by the employee. The employee must be notified of the dismissal within one month after the employer becomes aware of the conduct that constitutes gross misconduct. This deadline shall not apply if the gross misconduct is the subject of a criminal lawsuit within the month following the misconduct or if a previous gross misconduct is indicated in order to back up a new misconduct.
Before notifying the dismissal for gross misconduct, the employer may impose a temporary layoff on the employee, with immediate effect and without any particular form. Until the notification of the dismissal, wages must however be maintained. In case of temporary layoff, the dismissal must be notified at the earliest the day after the temporary layoff and within 8 days after the layoff. Temporary layoff is only possible in this specific case. Temporary layoffs are not possible outside procedures of dismissal for gross misconduct. In the case of a dismissal with immediate effect, the employee is not entitled to prior notice or to a departure allowance.
When and how can an employee terminate an employment relationship?
Voluntary resignation with or without notice period.
What are the economic consequences in each case?
At the end of the employment contract, the employee will be entitled to:
• payment of his remaining untaken holidays calculated until the end of the notice period even if he has been released from his obligation to perform active work during the notice period; and
• a pro rata payment of his bonus payment.
Any dismissed employee, except one dismissed for gross misconduct, is entitled to a legal departure allowance after at least 5 years of seniority within the company.
Are there any situations in which an employment relationship would terminate automatically and without the need for action by either party? If so, what are they?
• if the employee is declared unfit for the job to be performed after the first medical examination by the occupational health doctor;
• the day the employee is granted a retirement pension or at the latest when he reaches 65 years if he is entitled to a legal retirement pension;
• the day the employee is granted an invalidity allowance;
• the day the employee is no longer entitled to sickness indemnity allocated by the National Healthcare Insurance Fund;
• if the employee is declared unfit for his usual position;
• the day the employee’s disabled worker status is withdrawn; and
• the death of the employee.