Hire in Luxembourg
Here’s where you get started with human resources best practices and hiring in Luxembourg.
Key Country Facts
Luxembourg, officially the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, is a country in Northwestern Europe. It is one of the world’s smallest countries and has the third-highest GDP per capita in the world (after Qatar and Macau). The Grand Duchy is a constitutional monarchy, a parliamentary democracy and a prominent financial center.
Luxembourg is bordered by Belgium to the west and north, France to the south and Germany to the northeast and east. The country has an area of 2,586 square kilometers and is divided into two principal regions: the hilly and forested region of Oesling in the north and the urbanized Gutland in the south.
Luxembourg has a mild climate marked by considerable precipitation, with mild summers and moderate snowfall in the winter.
Luxembourg has been passed back and forth between various European powers throughout history – the French, Spanish, Austrians and back again to the French. Because of this, the country’s motto is ‘mir wëllebleiwewatmirsinn,’ which means ‘we want to remain what we are.
Christianity is the dominant religion in Luxembourg and over 87% of the population ire Roman Catholic. The remaining 13% are Protestants, Jews and Muslims.
There are three official languages in the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg: Luxembourgish, French and German.
Luxembourg HR at a Glance
The main sources of labour law in Luxembourg are the international treaties, European Law, the Constitution, The Labour Code of Luxembourg (which came into effect in September 2006, unified all Luxembourg’s previous employment legislation), and collective bargaining agreements.
Employment contracts are generally for an indefinite period, also known as CDI (‘contrat à durée indéterminée’). Contracts must be finalized in writing on the first day of employment at the latest.
In the absence of a written contract – but if an employee can prove to have an employment relationship – it would be determined to be an indefinite period contract.
An employment contract must include:
- the identities of the parties involved;
- start date of employment
- location of the workplace
- description of the role and its duties
- working hours
- basic remuneration and other benefits
- duration of the probation period (if any)
- annual leave entitlement
- the existence and nature of any supplementary pension scheme
- any other clauses (e.g. collective agreements)
Fixed-term contracts may be used only for the performance of “precise and temporary” tasks and not to fill on a lasting basis a job linked to the employer’s normal permanent activities. The law defines various situations considered to constitute “precise and temporary” tasks.
For fixed-term contracts the additional information must be included:
- end date of contract or its minimum period
- name of the employee who has been replaced (if applicable)
- length of the probationary period (if any)
- the renewal clause (if applicable)
In addition, a fixed-term contract must state the specific task for which the contract has been signed and the reason justifying its fixed term.
There are no rules regarding use of language in employment contracts, except for the language used to be one that is understood by the employee.
Wages are subject to a mandatory increase when the average consumer price index has increased by 2.5%. The government may postpone the salary increase under certain circumstances. For example, an increase that was supposed to happen in mid-2022 was postponed to April 1, 2023.
Fixed-term contracts are granted only for exceptional cases and may not exceed 24 months. They may be renewed up to twice within this maximum period if the possibility of, and conditions for, the renewal are stated in the initial contract or provided in a later addendum to the contract. In the absence of any such contractual provision, any renewal of a fixed-term contract means the employee is considered to have an open-ended contract.
An employer employing 15 or more employees (for 12 months) must implement an employee representative body. This body protects the employees’ interests in issues relating to working conditions, security and social regulations.
Fixed-term contracts must also be issued in writing and are allowed for temporary tasks or tasks that do not form part of the usual activities of the company.
Mandatory Pre-Employment Medical Examination
Within the first two months of employment of each new employee, the employer must organize a mandatory medical examination by an occupational physician from the health service to which the employer is affiliated.
The doctor will then determine whether or not the applicant is fit for the job. This medical examination is compulsory, regardless of the position at hand (e.g. office work, industry, construction, etc.).
After the employee has been hired, the employer must also organize periodic medical examinations.
There is no specific legislation in Luxembourg regulating background checks but rules concerning data protection must be adhered to.
It is the employer’s responsibility to conduct the background checks and it is generally not permissible to outsource this to a third party.
Candidates must be informed about the methods by which their personal data will be processed, as well as whom the recipients will be.
If an employer makes a request for a criminal record extract, it must be because the job position requires it. This requirement must be indicated in the job offer.
Probation Period / Trial Period
The probation period can be from two weeks to six months for both indefinite and fixed-term contracts. During probation, each of the parties may withdraw from the contract by giving written notice.
In certain cases, the probation period may not be for more than three months (e.g. in the absence of a technical certificate) or it may be extended for up to 12 months (e.g. senior, highly paid employees).
The period of notice is calculated on the basis of the initially agreed duration of the trial period.
The notice periods are the same for both parties.
Notice periods are subject to the following minimum restrictions:
- When the trial period is expressed in weeks, the notice period must be as many days as weeks agreed upon for the trial period.
- When the trial period is expressed in months, the notice period must be at least four days per month of the trial period agreed upon in the contract (but not less than 15 days) and not more than one month.
The normal working schedule is 40 hours per week and eight hours per day. A working day may not exceed 10 hours. In certain exceptional cases (e.g. due to urgent work or serious accidents) working hours can be extended to a continuous shift of 12 hours. An employee can work up to 48 hours per week, including overtime hours.
There should be a rest period of at least 11 consecutive hours per 24-hour period and a minimum rest period of 44 consecutive hours in a work week. If this is not possible, workers must be granted an extra six days of leave in the year.
Where overtime is required, exceeding the weekly average of 40 hours may not occur over more than four weeks consecutively. Use of overtime working requires prior notification to or authorization from the Labor Ministry (‘Minister du Travail’).
If work is performed on a public holiday, the overtime rate is set at a 100% supplement of each hour worked.
If work is performed on a Sunday, the overtime rate is set at a 70% supplement of each hour worked.
Employees may be compensated for each hour worked on a Sunday with additional free time in lieu of the wage supplement.
Overtime is not applicable for employees holding a senior or superior management position, as defined by the law.
A bonus becomes mandatory if it has been fixed in the employment agreement.
However, it is common to mention in the employment contract that gratuities and bonuses are on a discretionary basis and may be revoked at any time by the employer.
For indefinite term employment contracts, the employer can end the working relationship by providing a written notice of dismissal.
The applicable notice period depends on the length of service as follows:
- Below 5 years: 2 months
- Between 5 to 10 years: 4 months
- >10 years: 6 months
Employees also have the right to end the working relationship by providing a written notice of resignation. The employee will not have a right to severance pay or unemployment benefits and the notice period for resignation is half that of an employer’s dismissal.
- Below 5 years: 1 month
- Between 5 to 10 years – 2 months
- >10 years – 3 months
Both the employer and the employee have the right to terminate the employment contract without notice if there are serious grounds for doing so (e.g. gross misconduct or non-payment of wages).
These categories of employees are protected from dismissal:
- Pregnant employees
- Employees on parental leave
- Employees on sick leave
The employer may end the employment contract for a genuine and serious reason linked to the worker’s aptitude or behavior or due to the operational needs of the company, establishment or department.
If the company has more than 150 employees, the employer must call the employee in for a discussion first. The company must then send a written notice of dismissal by registered postal mail. Finally, it must give the reasons for dismissal if the employee requests. Employers must send this via a registered letter. Employers may also end a contract immediately in the event of serious misconduct.
Fixed-term employment contracts may be terminated before the end date in the event of gross misconduct or by mutual agreement of the parties.
Employees on an indefinite term contract who are terminated for reasons other than gross misconduct or for employee-initiated resignations must observe the following notice periods.
|Duration of Employment||Termination by Employer||Employee-initiated Resignation|
|<5 years||2 months’ notice||1 month notice|
|>5 years||4 months’ notice||2 months’ notice|
|>10 years||6 months’ notice||3 months’ noticeRedundancy / Severance Pay|
The notice period starts on the 15th day of the month if the notice for termination was given before the 15th of the month. It begins on the first day of the following month if the notification was given after the 15th day of the month.
Luxembourg law does not allow for payment in lieu of notice. However, it is permissible for an employer to put an employee on garden leave during the notice period.
Post-Termination Restraints / Restrictive Covenants
The Luxembourg Labor Code recognizes non-compete and non-solicitation clauses as restrictive covenants that are enforceable.
However, these restrictive covenants are limited in time (up to 12 months after termination), geographical scope and only to the employer’s business activities. The terms must also be outlined in writing. Although financial compensation is not mandated, the validity of restrictive covenants are more likely to be recognized by the labor courts if there is financial compensation.
An employer must pay severance to an employee who is dismissed if the employee has completed at least five years of service. The severance payment varies from one to twelve months, depending on the length of service with the employer, as follows:
|Duration of Employment||Severance Pay (salary)|
|<5 years||0 month|
|>5 years||1 month|
|>10 years||2 months|
|>15 years||3 months|
|>20 years||6 months|
|>25 years||9 months|
|>30 years||12 months|
This entitlement does not apply in the event of mutual termination of contract.
Sickness benefits, bonuses and any recurring payments are included in the computation but discretionary payments and reimbursement of expenses are excluded.
The processing of personal data relating to employment must comply with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and employers should only process personal data of employees for purposes necessary for the employment relationship.
Employees have the following rights:
- Right to information
- Right to access
- Right to opposition
- Right to lodge a complaint with the National Commission for Data Protection
- Right to erasure
- Right to data portability
Tax and Social Security
Personal Income Tax
Employment income in Luxembourg is taxed at progressive rates of between 0% and 42%. The exact rate is determined by the income bracket and the personal situation of the taxpayer (e.g., whether the taxpayer is married or the number of children).
The employer is responsible for withholding and paying taxes accurately and in a timely manner, by the 10th of the following month.
A tax card is delivered to the employee by the tax authorities at the start of employment and at the start of the calendar year. This card contains information relating to the amount of withholding tax on remuneration. These tax cards should be shared with the employer as soon as it has been received or the penalty could be higher taxes (a flat withholding rate of 33% will apply).
An Employment Fund surcharge is applied at two separate rates, depending on the employee’s income and marital status:
A 7% rate will be applied for :
- income below EUR150,000 (for single taxpayers); or
- income below EUR300,000 (for couples taxed jointly)
A 9% rate will be applied for either:
- income higher than EUR150,000 (for single taxpayers); or
- income higher than EUR300,000 (for couples taxed jointly)
Employers, employees and the self-employed are subject to the payment of social contributions. Each employer must register its company and each of its employees (within eight days following entry into service) with the Social Security Common Center (‘Centre Commun de la Sécurité Sociale’ – CCSS).
|Contribution||Employer Contribution (%)||Employee Contribution (%)||Salary Cap/year (EUR)|
|Health at Work Contribution||0.14||–||132,115.80|
|Employers Mutual Scheme||0.53-2.88||–||132,115.80|
The net salaries do not have to be paid to a Luxembourg bank account or be paid in euros. Foreign bank accounts are acceptable. The net salaries have to be in the employees’ bank accounts before the end of the month for which the salary is paid (e.g. the salary for the month of January should reach the employee before January 31).
A monthly salary payslip must be provided to employees at the end of each month, showing each taxable compensation item (e.g. gross remuneration, social security contributions paid and tax withheld).
Employees are entitled to at least 26 days’ paid annual leave per year and employees must have worked for a continuous period of three months for the same employer before they are entitled.
During the first year with the employer, annual leave accrues by one-twelfth per month of employment. Work exceeding 15 calendar days will count as one full month.
If the employee has not been able to take the annual leave entitlement at the end of the calendar year, the leave can be carried over to the following year. However, this leave must be taken by March 31 of the new year.
Victims of accidents at work, war invalids and disabled workers are granted an additional six days’ leave. Miners, manual workers and technical engineers in the mining industry are given an additional three days’ leave.
An employee must inform the employer on the first day of absence about an illness in order to be entitled to paid sick leave and be protected against dismissal. A medical certificate must be submitted by the third day at the latest.
For sick leave that lasts more than 26 weeks, the employer has a right to dismiss the employee for having serious medical issues. An employment contract automatically ends if an employee has been on sick leave for 78 weeks out of a period of 104 weeks.
The employer will pay the full salary including all benefits from the date of the sick leave, until the 77th day of sick leave over a period of 18 months. The sick leave does not have to be consecutive.
The employers’ mutual scheme insurance will reimburse 80% of the total compensation paid by the employer during sick leave. From the month following the 77th day of sickness leave, the National Health Agency (‘Caisse Nationale de Santé’) will pay sickness benefits to the employee for the period of 78 weeks through104 weeks.
There are a great many types of special leave in Luxembourg: for sport, education and cultural activities; for fire brigade, rescue and lifesaving volunteer activities; for development cooperation, adoption and individual training (which can account for 80 days out of the entire professional career).
Employees may be granted language training leave to learn the Luxembourgish language.
Compassionate & Bereavement Leave
- Marriage Leave: 3 days
- Marriage of a child :1 day for each parent
- Paternity Leave: 10 days
- Adoption Leave: 12 weeks
- Adoption of a child under 16 years old (only if adoption leave is not taken): 10 days
- Death of spouse of 2nd degree relative: 2 days
- House moving (every 3 years): 2 days
Maternity & Parental Leave
A pregnant employee is entitled to 20 weeks’ paid maternity leave, with eight weeks to be taken before birth and 12 weeks after birth. This leave is paid by Luxembourg social security and is capped at five times the minimum wage.
Fathers are entitled to 10 days of paternity leave.
Both parents have a right to full parental leave of four or six months, to be taken before the child turns 6 years old. The first period of this leave has to start immediately after the end of maternity leave. If the parent works part time, the total leave is eight or 12 months. Only a parent who has worked for an employer continuously for one year is entitled to this leave, which is paid for by social security.
Alternatively, the leave can be split into either:
- four months for a maximum period of 20 months, or
- one day per week for up to 20 months
It is also possible, if parental leave was not taken immediately after maternity leave, for parents to take three months’ unpaid parental leave if they have children under the age of 5.
To be entitled for parental leave, the applicant parent must raise the child in his or her own household. He or she must also have contributed to Luxembourg social security at the time of the birth or adoption of the child for at least 12 continuous months prior to the start of parental leave.
Urgent Family Care Leave
Urgent family care leave varies from five to 12 days depending on the child’s age.
There are 11 public holidays per calendar year: New Year’s Day, Easter Monday, 1 May, Ascension, Whit Monday, June 23 (a public holiday to celebrate the Grand Duke’s birthday), Assumption, All Saints Day and December 25 and 26.
Benefits to the Employee in Luxembourg
The Luxembourg social security scheme covers risks of sickness, maternity, disability, hospitalization, accident, retirement and unemployment. It also provides for family allowance, widow’s pension, dependants’ insurance and guaranteed minimum income.
Family allowance contributions (1.7%) are paid by the state. The employer must send the employee a detailed statement at the end of each month showing how the salary has been calculated.
To compensate for the postponement of the wage indexation, the government has implemented several compensatory measures. These include an energy tax credit, financial aid for students, and tax credit for the beneficiaries of social inclusion income (‘Revis’).
Visas and Foreign Workers
EU, EEA and Swiss nationals who wish to stay for more than three months in Luxembourg and who meet certain conditions (e.g. gainful activity, sickness insurance coverage) must declare within three months of their arrival to the municipality in which they intend to live.
Non-EU, EEA and Swiss nationals must obtain a work and residence authorization, prior to the start of their gainful activity in Luxembourg. This is granted by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and certain conditions have to be met. These include the individual’s professional qualification, activity to be engaged in and having an employment contract. A work and residence authorization is typically for a maximum of one year and renewal is possible.
A company established in a EU/EEA or Switzerland may second its workers, regardless of nationality to Luxembourg, provided the seconded workers have a right to work or reside in the country where the seconding company is established.
Public Holidays in 2022
|1.||New Year’s Day||1 January|
|2.||Easter Monday||18 April|
|3.||Labour Day||1 May|
|4.||Europe Day||9 May|
|5.||Ascension Day||26 May|
|6.||Whit Monday||6 June|
|7.||National Day||23 June|
|9.||All Saints’ Day||1 November|
|10.||Christmas Day||25 December|
|11.||Saint Stephen’s Day||26 December|